My older sister Brittany recently made a chore chart for her three year son Noble and I now I want her to make me one! Did you read that Brit? You know my handwriting isn’t pretty and Cali and Ava NEED this to look good;) Because of how great this turned out, I immediately thought how great it would be to feature what it is all about on the blog. Brit has Noble and also an adorable one year old Emmy. Both kids are neurotypical, meaning no special needs. Most of my posts are geared towards autism, but isn’t it true that no matter what the circumstance, mothering/parenting takes work…a LOT of work. While this post is about a chore chart made for a typical developing three year, I think it is fantastic for a four and a half year old Cali or any child for that matter! I’ve said this time and again, but anything visual for Cali is a win. This particular chart is a fabulous visual. So here you go, the details of the chore chart.
In Brit’s own words…
Noble is my very active, fun loving, sweet and tender, three year old. He has been a constant source of energy and joy in our house since he was born. He does not have autism, but as I’m sure any parent can tell you, all three year olds can be very difficult at times.
Bedtime is a particularly tough time in our household. You’d think it was a surprise every night at about 7 pm when I tell him it’s time to pick up and start getting ready for bed. There are nights that I just cringe at the thought of mentioning bedtime because I know a big meltdown is around the corner. I feel like I’ve had every stage of “bedtime crisis” imaginable. Screaming, crying, kicking the walls, kicking the door, throwing toys, hyperventilating, punching, kicking, hitting, scratching, name-calling (stupid is his “ugly word” of choice)… I’m pretty sure that covers it! Bedtime can drag out over a span of 3 hours. He keeps getting out of bed, and I keep putting him back in. It’s pretty exhausting.
I thought I had tried everything. I kept going to friends and family for advice. Why don’t you try and stick to a schedule? That didn’t change anything. How about taking away toys? Every time he got out of bed, I would take one toy away. Pretty soon he was willingly giving them up and telling me which ones to take as he got out of bed. Can you lock his door from the outside? That’s when the hyperventilating set in. I figured if any of our neighbors heard him, they might alert the authorities. What about a reward in the morning? Um, he has the attention span of, well, a three year old. Waiting for morning might has well been ten years. I was at the end of my rope. I didn’t know what to do. So where do we parents turn when we completely exhaust all of our ideas?? Duh! Pinterest.
I got on Pinterest and starting looking up charts. Chelsea had recently posted about some great chore charts on the blog, and I thought I might be able to use that idea strictly for a bedtime chart. Now, I am not a super crafty mom. I saw all the awesomeness that Pinterest had offer when it came to charts (especially meal planning charts. Sheesh!), and I wanted simple, easy, and cheap. I finally came across one made of 12X12 scrapbook paper and a few graphics. Sold! I let Noble choose what color of paper he wanted for his morning chart and nighttime chart. I added the necessary pictures that Noble can handle and voila! I had become Super Mom in minutes.
This chart has changed our nighttime routine. Noble no longer fights me on every little thing he has to do before bed and he doesn’t drag it out. He knows that he can flip his chart each time he completes a task in order to see the smiley face. Now, I know that this is not a brand new idea. It’s not even my own idea. But it works. It works because there’s no guessing, it’s visual, and concrete. It’s a great system for him because it makes him accountable for himself. He’s proud to get each item done and it’s a bonus for him, because I let him choose the order in which he does the tasks (for the most part).
I am really proud of him. Okay, I’m really proud of myself too. Parenting is hard work (the hardest in my opinion), and it is a huge victory to find something that works for you and your kids. I plan to use this as long as it works. And then pass it on to my 11 month old. I’m already anticipating the meltdowns that will for sure come!
Thanks Brit for sharing. Can I just tell you how much I look up to you as a mom. I admire you for so many things, but among them is the way you love and mother Emmy and Noble. I love you more than words…and miss you every day!!!