Cute & Simple (Friday)
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Cute & Simple: Picture Schedules Part 2

By Leslie Lindsay

Last Friday on “Cute & Simple,” I presented a couple of ways you can help streamline your routines for the day, week, whatever…(and then you read yesterday’s post about the morning madness and you probably think I have no idea what I am talking about).  But, if you are intersted in doing more with this picture schedule/photo menu idea, then read on.  It really does work.

Awhile back, my kids were begging for an allowance.  We go through this allowance cycle every so often, but we aren’t very consistent about it as parents.  The kids are only 4 and 6 years old, after all.  Instead of writing out every job or chore we expect of the kiddos (since they can’t really read), I made a photo/picture chart of the expectations.  Therefore, I am no longer hovering over the kids as they look at the chart asking for the upmteenth time, “What does this say again, mom?!”

It worked pretty well.  Well enough that they earned the walkie talkies they were talking (ha!) about for eons.  Each evening, after dinner the girls would march over to where I had the charts hanging and would rattle off the things they did (or didn’t) do.  For every “did,” they got a small sticker to place directly on that photo/picture.  After earning so many stickers, they were rewarded with the walkie talkies.  There really wasn’t any real money exchanged, but I think they understood that we had daily expectations.

You can do it, too:

  • Think of your child’s entire day from “wake-up” to “go-down”
  • Sketch it out if you have to
  • What “bugs” you about the way things go (or don’t)?
  • How can you make it easier on yourself while teaching your kiddos some responsibilty?
  • For us, it was toilet flushing (really), making beds look as neat as possible (not perfect), and cleaning out ones’ own backpack
  • There are others, too–picking up toys on first request, washing hands, doing homework, and I even through in “good deed”
  • Then, get yourself to the computer, open up a blank Word doc and get to making your picture list by inserting clip art to depict your, uh…request.  Type in key words in the clip art finder like, “toothbrush” for brush your teeth, or “dinner” for set the dinner table, “trashcan” for help bring in/take out trash.
  • If you’d rather, you can use your own photographs of your own children doing these very tasks.  Kids love to see themselves in photos.
  • Post it in an area of your home where your kids–and you–will see it and use it

Have patience–and persistence.  Starting a new expectation like this takes time and some adjustment.

Happy weekend and happy crafting!!

Click here to see what our daily chart looks like: Kids Daily Chart

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