Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chores for Screen Time

My son, Ronan, received the Melissa And Doug Magnetic Responsibility Chart for his birthday a few years back.  The chart comes with a good assortment of responsibilities as well as lots of "good job smiles" to mix up the responsibilities each week. For a time, we picked chores for the 7 chore spaces, and Ronan would get 10 cents for each job well done.
Unfortunately, we didn't enforce the chores as much as I would have liked and our routines started to fill with TV, tablets, movies, and smartphone games.  I was getting a little concerned about all the time my kids were spending watching the screens and a little annoyed that I was constantly reminding the boys to pick up toys and help around the house.
Then I had an idea.  I got our chart back out and picked out some chores from the assortment that my 6-year-old and 34-month-old could do together.  They helped me pick one color for each of them and one color to share.  When one of the boys does a chore by himself, he gets to put his smile on the coordinating day and chore.  When they do a team effort on the chore, they can use the "shared" color.  For each chore that they participate in, they get to have 10 minutes of screen time.  They can pick a movie, the tablet, Wii, or another "screen" to use up the time they have collected for today.
It has been a great way to get the boys to work on chores, and I feel ok about the amount of time they are spending in front of the TV.
If you are interested in charting your kids chores, the Melissa And Doug Magnetic Responsibility Chart sales for $19.99 and has a 4.9 out of 5 stars on their reviews. Right now, Melissa & Doug is offering FREE shipping on orders over $50. Use code FSFIFTY.  Don't forget to check out their outlet as well for other high quality toys.
Let me know if you have any other good ideas for encouraging chores and reinforcing a good limit to the TV.  I would love to hear more ideas!

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