Our four rules are:
They're pretty self-explanatory. They are specific to the prominent issues that we were facing in our household, haha. Our thought: keep it simple. If they break a rule, then they go straight to their room for time-out. No drama or yelling or threatening. Just time-out. We posted the signs on their bedroom door so that we can point to it and remind them of the rule as they're going into time-out. It works great, but the trick is to be consistent (as with everything in parenting).
I think maybe since it's posted and they helped make the signs on the computer that they got on board with the rules. So when they break a rule they realize that it's fair to go to time-out. They still put up a fuss sometimes, but it works well for the most part.
Samuel's four chores are:
1) Clear the table and push in the chairs.
2) Pick up the toys in the living room and tidy up.
3) Pick up the toys in their bedroom and tidy up.
4) After shower time put the dirty clothes away in the bathroom and tidy up.
Levi's one chore is to put away all of the toys in the bathtub after his bath is over. He's usually pretty eager to help Samuel with all of the other chores, too, though. They each get one quarter upon the completion of each chore.
Samuel is so motivated by those quarters. He's been able to buy a lot of things that he wants (fun bands, a Woody doll, kettle corn at the pumpkin patch, ice cream from the ice cream truck, and more), and he saves for things, too. I love the lessons that it's teaching him about money and hard work. We also ask him how much he wants to give to God each Sunday. He loves to do that and gets really excited about it.
I also love that it's making housework a family effort! It's so wonderful. Our house stays pretty clean now, and we work as a team. There are nights that NONE of us want to clean up, but we know that it makes the next day so much better if we prepare the night before. If we skip a day of nighttime chores, then the next day is more than double the work.
So this is working really well for us right now. I'm sure that things will be shaken up quite a bit when the baby is born, but I'm hoping that we can get back into this routine pretty quickly after we're back home.