Beyond setting the foundation for teamwork, work ethic, and a sense of ownership, assigning my kids household chores helps me feel a little bit less like Alice from the television show “Brady Bunch.” As many parents can relate, keeping up with your kids’ chore list is a chore in itself.
Over the years we’ve tried many different tracking tools, ranging from refrigerator magnets to stickers on a grid. As the years have passed and my kids have become more independent, their list of responsibilities no longer fits the Melissa & Doug common chore template.
In our house, one chore equals one quarter. To date, I’ve been using a sheet of paper to keep a running tally of the weekly allowance funds. And while this method serves a purpose, it feels quite manual in this day of digital tablets and smart phones.
Essentially a beta tester for the new Goal Guide app, I created a high-level goal called “Kids Chores” and added sub categories for the chores my three kids most often complete on a daily and weekly basis. I then created Cognitopia user accounts for each kid and assigned chores accordingly. Meaning, some chores have been assigned to everyone (make your bed) and others have assigned to just one person (practice your guitar, for example, is just for the middle child).
I used the camera on my phone to take pictures from around the house and uploaded them to appropriate chores within Goal Guide; this feature serves as a nice visual reminder and the kids know exactly what I’m referring to. Next, I created three Cognitopia Connect accounts and downloaded the Goal Guide app to an iPad the kids use and share.
Each day the list of chores displays as “to do” or “done” and each person is responsible for logging in before bedtime and ticking off the list of chores they completed that day. An option to “check my status” appears after each chore is completed and links to a graph for tracking progress—at the end of the week, the data becomes my digital allowance report and also creates a medium for a discussion on how things are going. If someone feels they are doing too many chores (or not enough), we can adjust and check back in a week.
So far, the act of digitizing our chores and creating a goal-based team has been well received by everyone. I can adjust the date-range by dragging the lower slider bar and make each kid “active” to track individual chores payout.
One of my kids even added a category for “homework” along with a photo of his binder keeper and his brother created a chore for “reading” and assigned his brother and sister to the daily challenge.
I’ll take parenting success any way I can get it!