By Mike Hyde, The Webmaster
One of the greatest frustrations of a houseparent and most any parent is teaching a child to complete a chore properly and completely. My wife and I have discovered that a chore checklist makes it a lot easier. My wife actually got the idea from a birth mother of a large family. She used them with her children and found it actually helped the children do their chores properly and helped her keep track of how the chores were being done.
We started using them when we worked in a B-Mod facility that used a level system. Residents received a score for completion of a daily chore. We were having trouble with our girls doing there chores properly and disputes over what properly was. At first the girls were very resistant to the whole idea, but after about two weeks most of them accepted the checklists and some actually liked using them.
The rules we used with the checklists were:
- If the checklist is not completed - the chore was not completed and they received a zero score for the day.
- If they lied and did the checklist without doing the chore - they received a zero score for their chore and also a poor score for Honesty.
- If the chore was partially completed they would receive a score based upon the completion of the chore and checklist.
- Properly completing their chore according to the checklist, completing their checklist, and returning it to the office resulted in a good score for the day. Extra effort and timely completion would result in a higher score and better scores in other categories.
One thing we were sure to do when we implemented the chore checklists was to be very clear with the girls what was expected. We went through and completed each chore with the girls according to the checklists and showed them exactly what we wanted. When ever a new girl came into the house we would always work with her the first time she did her chore so there was no question as to what was expected.
We also used them at a basic care facility with teenage boys and they work equally well. We did not use a level system with them so there were no points, but natural and logical consequences worked fine. If you did well on your chore you would receive easier chores or other privileges. If you did your chore improperly you would receive additional chores or other consequences.
In my "Members Only" Section I have included several sample checklists in Word and PDF format based upon the Behavioral Chart that we have used and also from memory from previous programs (My old checklists were on floppy disk and I lost all my floppies a couple years ago). The checklists in Word format can easily be adapted for your individual program.
I have them formatted with a narrow right margin and a wide left margin so that they can be kept in a "Twin-Pocket Portfolio With Fasteners". We would make about 20 copies of each checklist and keep them in the folders. Each week on Saturday evening we would just rip off the top copy and have a new checklist for whoever was next to have that chore.
Sample checklists included are:
- Dining Room
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