April 10, 2008

Chore Dice

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"I did it yesterday," Ally argued.

"But I did it for two days in a row before that," Brittany countered.

For at least 15 minutes, I listened to my daughters debate whose turn it was to load the dishwasher. Either one of them could have finished doing the simple after-dinner chore by then if they'd just gotten to it instead of bickering. I didn't think alternating daily chores was that complicated, but obviously I should have written out a schedule or marked the calendar.

Both girls were certainly old enough to pitch in and help with daily clean-up duties, but maybe not mature enough to fairly dole out the workload without some help. To put an end to the squabbling and hopefully make housework more fun, we gathered supplies to make chore dice.

We labeled one die with daily chores like taking out the trash and picking up the pile of shoes growing at the back door, and the other die for weekly chores like dusting and folding laundry.

To make using the chore dice seem more like a game, we labeled one square 'free' for a day off chore duty and another with 'choice' to let players pick their job. I decided to skip the suggested 'trade' square to allow rollers to swap jobs because I knew that could possibly escalate my daughters' quarreling.

Now every evening, we all take turns rolling the daily chore die to determine things like who is setting the table and who is sweeping the floor. And on Saturdays, our weekly chore day, we use the other die to get our morning started with a game rather than an argument.

And the cleaning gets done quicker because it takes less time to play the chore dice game than dispute whose turn it is to vacuum.

How do you handle arguments over chores? Do you have a way of scheduling them that works? Click the comments link below to find and share ideas.

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Chore Dice

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