Though chores are rarely fun to complete, they’re a necessary evil—but try to convince a stubborn child of that fact! Most parents find that they have to ask their child ten times to make the bed or take out the trash. But what if there were a way to motivate children to take on chores without the endless wheedling, begging and nagging?
A chore reward system is a great way to motivate children to complete their chores on their own. Once your children associate completing household tasks with points that they can redeem for a delicious treat or a book of stickers, they’ll jump at the chance to help out around the house. Here’s how to get started:
Sit Down Together
The best way to start a chore and reward system is to sit down with your children and create it together. It’s important that kids get involved in creating the chore system—it will make it feel more like a fun family project and less like a dreaded punishment.
Make a list of all the chores your kids are required to complete in the course of a week, and assign a point value to each chore. A simple daily chore, like making the bed, might be worth just one point, while a more elaborate or time-consuming chore, like doing the dishes or vacuuming a room, might be worth five points. Go through the list until every chore has a point value.
Set a minimum number of points that your child needs to earn by the end of each day or the end of each week. This system can help kids understand the value of budgeting their time and energy, and it will allow them to feel some control over the kind of work they do every day. Rather than having to be asked to do particular chores, they will begin to look over the chore list to determine on their own what needs to be done to earn points.
The Reward System
Finally, establish the rewards your child can achieve for collecting a certain number of points. To teach your children the rules of spending and saving, you might offer a variety of prizes for a range of different point values. While a small reward, like a sticker or a mini piece of candy, might be worth ten points and could be easily redeemed with just a few days’ work, you could offer up a particularly special reward, like a trip to the amusement park or a pricey toy, if your child chooses to save up a large number of points over the course of months.
Remember—the chore system that works for one child might not be best for another. Tailor your chore chart and reward system to your child’s unique preferences and motivations, and they’ll be much more likely to pick up a broom or put away toys. Maybe your child would prefer a colorful paper chart and the chance to redeem their points for a new toy, while another child might prefer an interactive chore chart app and the reward of extra TV time. Whatever you choose, the key is to keep kids involved and motivated.