YOUNGER KIDS? GET My FREE Illustrated CHARTS Tips for behavior modification!THANK Don't SPANK!


When I was younger and a perfectionist, my motto was

"A job worth doing is worth doing well."

After I had 7 kids and no time my motto became:

Do your best to enlist their cooperation by following the tips on these pages:

1: Learn what MOTIVATES people
2: Learn how to use CONSEQUENSES

4: Make a CHART

(Always follow up with praise and re-assess changes needed each week!)

Smaller Duties prepare us for larger ones!


I like what Deaunna Evans, of Super Mom's Coaching said:

YES! I AGREE! Let's be noble.

Though I once called them, 'Chores' I now embrace the idea and call them FAMILY SERVICE!

Many worry that once kids get old enough to really be a help, they might not want to anymore!

But start them young when the really DO love to help, and they get in the habit of helping.

Help from adolescents really helps a lot and they can do bigger chores, too.

When mine were teens we'd try to only give them one BIG Job a day, so they were free to do their homework and maybe have a little time to relax before bedtime.  

A chart might look like this: (You can download this one as a Microsoft Word.doc here to customize it)!

(GET MORE FREE Illustrated CHARTS HERE with Tips to help behavior!)

Here's another sample chart for more than one child, below. We would rotate the chores the next week so everyone had a turn at each one. Make sure the jobs are 'do-able' for each child - perhaps some will only do one, 2 or three chores each day. It shouldn't be so hard they can't finish, but don't allowing slacking off or being lazy. Make sure they are getting enough sleep at night! No one likes doing anything when they are tired!

A chart might look like this: (You can download this one as a Microsoft Word.doc here)

Sample Chores might include: Doing Dishes (Some jobs, like Dishes, can be broken down to many jobs to make them easier for smaller kids like this: Taking dishes from the table to the kitchen, Scraping and stacking dishes, washing dishes, Rinsing dishes, Drying Dishes, Putting away clean dishes, Pots and Pans, etc) Wiping Counters, Sweeping Floors (name the area to sweep), Picking up stuff off the floor before Vacuuming - anything larger than a dime - so it doesn't break the machine), Vacuuming (Name the area to vacuum), Taking out Trash, Feeding/watering the Pet, Watering plants, Dusting, Cleaning Windows, Cleaning toilets, Cleaning Sinks, Cleaning bathtub/shower, cleaning mirrors, wiping cabinets, refridgerator, walking the dog, watching a younger child, reading to a sibling, helping them with their homework, etc.

For your little ones who can't read, choose simple 'jobs' for their 'THANK DONT SPANK' chart -

They still need things to do, too!

My husband came home from work one day when I was scurrying around exhausted, trying to get the house cleaned, dinner ready, etc, while the kids were watching TV. Shocked, he declared, "What are you doing? You have this free laborforce, and you're letting them sit around! Why don't you put them to work?"

"You're right!" I said, and that very night was when we had our first family meeting. In the meeting I began to explain how I needed a little help around the house so I wouldn't be so tired all the time from doing all the work myself. IT WORKED! Everyone realized they could do SOMETHING, from the littlest 2 year old who could pick up his toys and put them in the toybox to the seven year old who loved to suck up things with the vacuum. And even when they didn't do a perfect job, it was a training ground (for me too) to instruct them in how to do it even better (after thanking them for what they had done, first, of course). A recognition of their efforts and a feeling of accomplishment began to develop into an actual enjoyment of hard work! We tried many plans of 'CHORE ATTACK' , and some worked better than others.


DON'T CRITICIZE, and ALWAYS THANK THEM FOR THEIR EFFORTS FIRST, BEFORE you offer suggestions for improvement! (Kind of like the way you wish your boss would treat YOU, right?)


PLAN carefully beforehand so you know clearly in YOUR mind what you'd like to see accomplished (At least sketch out some ideas on paper). Then have a family meeting in which you explain the new program. Though you may already know who will get which chore in the end it helps to give them a feeling that they have invested in the plan if they 'help decide' the chores. We would get all the kids in a circle and have them 'choose' which chore they would do by having each chore written on a separate piece of paper, folded up and mixed up in a hat or bowl. We'd pass it around for each to choose one until all the chores were taken. Then we would open the papers and everyone would gasp or giggle at the chore they got. If a chore was really too hard for a younger child, an older child was appointed to help them, or perhaps the chore switched to another child, until eventually each person had an equal amount of work that felt fairly matched to their abilities. At the beginning of the next week we would rotate chores until each child had performed each chore to see what it was like. By that time we were all pretty well aware of who did which chore the best, and were able to decide if we wanted to keep the same chore for a few weeks, or switch, whatever worked best for all of us (I made sure Mom and Dad each had a chore to do as well). We became really good at debating issues of fairness and learned negotiating skills in the process! You may get a few good lawyers out of the deal, you never know!

After you have decided on WHICH chores they will do, then give them THE RULES OF THE GAME! Getting the Kids to DO their Chores requires MOTIVATING them!


Basically there are only 4 ways to motivate a person to act or behave a certain way.
From the least effective (in the long run) to the best, here are the different ways:


1-FORCE: This is where you are basically saying "DO it or else".

2- GUILT: This is where you attempt to make the person feel bad if they don't help you. For instance, "Why do you make me suffer like this? I'm working so hard for you...", etc, etc.

3-INCENTIVES: The carrot at the end of the stick, the "If you do this, I'll do that"

4-LOVE: A person will go to the ends of the earth, without pay, for someone they love.


I once heard someone*say:“Rules without Relationship lead to Rebellion”

* (I believe it was Steve Arterburn who said it on the radio program, NEW LIFE LIVE,--- and I agree!!)

It’s true.
Using the two HIGHEST ways to motivate your child,
INCENTIVES (Rules), with LOVE (Relationship) gives you a much better chance of success at motivating your children. When you use INCENTIVES (the sticker chart approach) they get something, PLUS they they will work harder if they love you! READ MORE HERE!!!

1- Make a chore chart that matches the skills you think they can do, along with a schedule of when they need to have them done (Include Homework as a manditory chore, too).

A modification between the "ThankDon'tSpank" Chart for the younger children, and the "Chore Chart" for older kids worked for our kids depending on their age and ability. Keep track of chores done with a checkmark, or stickers. Here's a tip on Cleaning their room when they don't know how to start! Another Great "TIPS FROM OTHER MOMS" tip to use with her 5 year old was contributed by Barbara, HERE.

2 - DECIDE ON REWARDS FOR A JOB WELL DONE! (sometimes it can be money, a movie, or a special food - you know what they like and what YOU can afford! In our house we were lucky to be able to afford ice cream once a week as our reward - or a trip to the 99 cents store where they could each pick out a toy or candy.

ONE IDEA FOR A MONEY REWARD: If you're using Money as a reward, decide the amount they will earn by the end of the week if they accomplish all their tasks, and convert that amount into dimes or quarters. (When we tried it I had 7 children so I could onlyafford $3-5 a week for each - maybe you can afford more - rates may have gone up since then (I'm a grandma now - that was a long time ago - but the kids still need to learn there are limits!)

A - At the beginning of the week place a jar with the decided amount of in coins on a high shelf where they can see it but are not allowed to touch it. With more than one child, have the child's name clearly written on the jar.

B - Explain that IF they do all their chores as scheduled, that all the money left at the end of the week will be theirs to use as they wish.

C - Also explain the penalty for slipups will be that a coin will be taken out for every chore left undone, and also penalties for unacceptable behaviors.

D - Make a clear list of unacceptable behaviors that will be docked a quarter (or dime) and post it on the Fridge where they can see it regularly. For instance: sassing, bad words, hitting, fighting, yelling, leaving stuff lying around on the floor, not paying attention when you are talking to them, lying, etc . (I'm sure you'll think of more!). If you wish you can also have a list of 'BONUS CHORES' that may be done to earn an extra quarter, or to 'undo' a bad deed to get a coin placed back in their jar that was lost. The main thing is that they know the rules.

It was a rare week when the children actually got all the money. Usually they'd end up with a dollar or two taken out because of misdeeds or bad behavior, so a lot of the money was 'recycled' to the next weeks amount!

The good motivator here is that when they see one of 'their' quarters being taken out of the jar in front of them it really hurts and they want to avoid the loss next time. But once in a while this technique will be extra difficult if you have a kid who just won't play by the rules and tries to steal the money before the end of the week! Then you need to lock it up and try another way!

3 - MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH WHAT YOU STARTED (It will be hard, but worth it in the end - and remember - Teaching them THEIR job IS YOUR JOB! It will build up momentum if you keep it up, and become a good habit of accomplishment for your children.


NOTE: You can learn how to educate your young children about drugs and its dangers when you visit this site

TEENS ARE SO PRECIOUS, and yet they seldom realize it! TELL THEM HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM - EVERY DAY. THEY ARE WORTH MORE THAN ALL YOUR POSSESSIONS. While their bodies are changing and hormones are raging, a teen feels their feelings of SELF-consiousness more intensely than at any other time in life! Because of this they are extra sensetive and want acceptance by their peers. And they still need YOUR love. The world is so harsh and cruel and children can be mean to each other. It's no surprise why suicide is the 3rd highest reason for deaths among teens. Don't ever think they don't need your love. They need it even if they don't show it - especially as a buffer against the pain of rejection and hurts in their relationships with others outside the family. So many kids get into drugs and alcohol, just to be 'in' with the crowd - especially IF the crowd they are in is using them. You can't pick their friends for them. But water seeks it's own level, and hopefully your good example of the way YOU live will rub off on their choices in friends.

When you see a teachable moment, show them these little movies, below and see if they 'get the message' - to stay away from drugs & alcohol, because: 1- drugs & alcohol ruin the mind, and: 2- even if someone thinks drugs & alcohol will 'feel good' theywill lead to harm in the long run. A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP WILL DO MORE TO MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT LIFE THAN ALL DRUGS IN THE WORLD! I HEARD ONCE THAT A TEENAGER NEEDS MORE SLEEP THAN A NEWBORN BABY! (And so do their PARENTS!) And yet how many of them ever get enough sleep. No wonder they are depressed so often!


drugs ruin Brains

Quicktime 1.2MB ©Ruth Elliott,2007
with SOUND
Or- click for 112K.swf file here


Drugs and Alcohol give a sense of FALSE FREEDOM that can lead to bad decisions, poor behavior, panic and fear - and can lead to jail or even mental illness. If you have a diagnosis of a mental disorder already, or a genetic predisposition to mental illness, stay away from non prescription drugs and alcohol - and stay INSIDE the SAFETYZONE! © Ruth Elliott 2008
Or - click for a .swf file here 168K without sound

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