Wednesday, March 16, 2011

House Rules and Chore Charts

I have recently had a couple of friends ask about our house rules, or what sort of behavior chart ideas I had. Here is some of what I do, below. What I would really like is the magnetic chore chart by Melissa and Doug - totally reusable and should last a really long time, and it comes with most common chores that a child would have.

I did a behavior chart for my DS and the foster kids last year, and it worked pretty well. I used it more as a checklist for getting ready because that was their struggles at the time. I just got a large sheet of paper (same as I do with house rules, about 11x17), and wrote each step of getting ready (can use for jobs/responsibilities/chores/behaviors you want to see) down the paper, and included a small drawing of the desired behavior (a comb, toothbrush, bed, clothes, etc) so he would understand it without me reading it every morning and evening. To the right I drew a grid with room for the stickers I was using and squeezed about 2 weeks worth on one sheet. I subdivided it into times of day - for instance I had Morning routine, After school routine and Evening routine. He got a sticker for each behavior he did without a reminder (started out getting one for just not complaining when he got a reminder, LOL) and when he reached a certain # of stickers, he got to choose a reward - something from dollar store, ice cream, a movie cuddling with me, whatever. You can use the same system for any positive things you want to see, but I don't see it working too well for punishing negative behaviors. So for that I use the House Rules.

This is hanging in the dining area next to the hallway, so its very central. I got together with DS (age 6) and asked him what HE thought the rules should be, and then added to it to get 10 altogether. I got his agreement on each one, how to word it, and read the corresponding verses to him. Each rule is numbered, kept short and followed by the "address" to an applicable Bible verse. At the bottom below the rules I put "Consequences" and listed the possible outcomes of not following the rules. Mine are Time out, Loss of privileges, Early bedtime, No screen time (for whatever length of time I see fit, usually a day or two at his age), Extra chores and No Allowance (he gets $2/week). For example, if he forgets to feed the dogs after school, I can take away 25 cents each time, not to exceed $1 any week. He agreed to that.
Here are the House Rules as I have them written. I used to look up matching verses. Each rule encompasses plenty of sub-rules so should cover about anything!

1. Love God. Exodus 20: 3,7 Love people. Luke 10:27
2. Speak nice words. Ephesians 4:29
3. Use kind touches. Philippians 2:3
4. Show respect. Proverbs 4:1
5. Obey parents. Ephesians 6:1, Colossians 3:20, Exodus 20:12
6. Be responsible. Luke 16:11
7. Do chores. 1 Corinthians 4:12
8. Use indoor voices. Proverbs 15:1
9. No running inside. Colossians 3:12
10. Do not lie. 1 King 22:16

I tried to make them as positive as possible, not just don't do this, don't do that. I hope this helps someone in some way!

I found the most awesome site related to this topic! Its and has just about everything you can imagine, plus tips and articles about what chores are reasonable for what age, how to get good behavior, how to parent, etc. Check it out!

**Update 2**
I have redone the rules again, even though nothing is wrong with these. :)  See them at Updated House Rules.


  1. I love your house rules!!! I love that they are all from the bible! can I steal your house rules?

  2. Of course you can! Enjoy :)

  3. Thank you!!! This is a wonderful idea!

  4. Thanks! I used that for a couple years, and now we are doing this:

  5. Thank you for sharing! This is an awesome site!

  6. Thanks for sharing! This is an awesome site and will help me my Church Kids classes!