You have 5,345 things to do this holiday season. Now your children can pitch in and help with the Christmas Chore Chart.
Welcome to Day 11 of the 12 Days of Free Christmas Printable Activities. This is my gift to my amazing community of email subscribers.
You have a lot to do to get ready for Christmas. Trying to get your children to do chores seems like the last logical solution.
“Mom, do I have to?”
“But I just want to play!”
“Can’t my brother do it?”
You don’t want to deal with all the whining. It’s easier to just do it yourself.
But here’s the thing.
Most children are so excited during the holiday season, they are more likely to jump in and help with chores. So this is actually the perfect time to introduce some chores to your children.
Give your child the opportunity to contribute to your family with this Christmas Chore Chart. Watch their confidence and competence grow this season.
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Why Chore Charts don’t Work
I’m not a big fan of traditional chore charts.
Do you know what I’m talking about? Those cute charts you find on Etsy or at Target with a thousand magnets to mark when your child has completed one of 12 different daily chores.
I think it starts with good intentions and then can be a source of guilt for both parents and children. So if they haven’t worked for you in the past, you are not alone.
Instead, the Christmas Chore Chart just focuses on a few ways children can contribute to their families. This way your child can experiment with a few chores and really focus on the idea of helping the family.
Ultimately, you need to transfer the responsibility for the chore over to your child. And this includes monitoring it.
When parents have to remind (cough cough: nag) their children, it defeats the purpose of the chore chart. You don’t need more to add to your plate right now.
- Looking for more chore ideas? Nine Reasons to Give Your Children Chores
This Christmas Chore Chart is different. It puts your child in the driver’s seat and allows their competence and confidence to soar.
Family Contributions Versus Chores
Another reason this Christmas Chore Chart works is it flips the language. It helps you introduce the chores as contributions to the family.
Part of being a human person means there are basic things we need to do:
- brush teeth,
- get dressed,
- bathe or shower, and
Similarly, humans need to care for their physical surroundings. People live in homes that have:
- spills to be cleaned
- beds to be made
- meals to be shared
- clothes to be washed
Like caring for our bodies, we need to care for our homes. And that responsibility does not just fall to one person (ie. Mom).
So develop your thinking that you’re teaching your child how to see chores as a care task for their home instead of their body.
Also, make sure you’re not making chores a consequence for behavior. Do you make your child wash their hands after they tease their sister? No. So doing extra chores is illogical and counter-productive.
One common pitfall for families is treating chores like a punishment. Don’t do this.
Shift your language to talking about chores as contributions. We are humans, we are part of a family, we take care of our home.
It’s not optional to participate but it’s far from a punishment.
Christmas Chore Chart
The Christmas Chore Chart has 9 common family chores for the Christmas season. It includes:
- putting clothes away,
- picking up toys,
- making bed,
- wrapping presents,
- writing a letter to a relative,
- helping with decorating,
- setting the table,
- preparing a meal, and
- wiping the table.
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Chores Children Can Do at Christmas
While some of the chores on the list are holiday-specific, ideally you want your child to develop some skills that they can use year-round.
So leverage their excitement with wrapping presents or decorating, to teach your child how to make their bed or wipe the table after meals.
Using the Christmas Chore Chart
Because you are a busy parent, this black and white chore chart is really easy to use:
- Print it for your child.
- Put it on a clipboard.
- Read the directions to your child.
- Instruct your child to choose some contributions.
- Allow your child time to color.
- Display the chart.
- Make sure the necessary supplies are easily available.
- Pre-teach anything that is essential to the contribution in your family (i.e. where does the dirty sponge go?)
Teach how to Do Chores
The biggest mistake parents make is trying to teach the chore while children are doing it. This zaps your child’s willingness to help because it feels like they are doing it wrong.
After your child has selected a chore, set aside five minutes to:
- Model how to do the chore (I do it).
- Do the chore together (We do it).
- Turn over responsibility to your child (You do it).
Then once your child starts doing their chores:
- thank your child.
- use specific praise (“You really scrubbed that sticky spot.”)
- avoid any feedback unless there is an immediate safety concern.
Nothing kills motivation for household chores more than criticism or “helpful hints.” In the future, you can pre-teach the chore again.
Looking for More Christmas Printables?
Now that you have your hands on the Christmas Chore Chart, check out these other printables for Christmas with your children:
Christmas Q-tip Alphabet helps your child learn proper letter formation in a fun way! Use a q-tip dipped in a small amount of paint to dot paint the alphabet.
Your preschool-aged child can do more than you think. Grab these Christmas Preschool Activities and your child will stay busy and learning this holiday season.
Listen – I know it feels like you’re too busy to teach your child chores this holiday season. While starting chores seems like the last thing to add to your to-do list, this is actually the perfect time!
Leverage your child’s excitement over the holidays and enjoy some help this season. Then watch them transfer those skills to routine household chores in the new year.
You’re helping your child develop skills to be successful life-long.