How motived are your kids to do chores? I wanted to share three parenting ideas that may help solve some of our most common struggles as moms.
Two of these I have done myself, and one I just learned about today from a good friend.
1. This first chore “helper” is GREAT for little ones, and it actually became something my kids asked for.
It’s called THE CHORE BOX.
Here’s how this simple tool works. Make a list of household tasks that you would like your kiddos to help with. Write them on strips of paper and put in a tissue box. Gather the kids around when you have a half hour or so, and let them draw a strip of paper from the box. My kids would giggle or playfully groan when they picked a chore, and then race to complete it. As soon as the chore is complete they race back to draw the next one. I would throw in one or two “Pick a piece of candy” in the box to make it really fun.
Caveat: This won’t work as well with older kids–not quite as enthusiastic…
2. The second chore helper works when the kids get a little older, maybe 3rd grade to middle school:
It’s called CHORES FOR REWARDS
I created this chore motivator a few years back when I felt like the daily expectations for the kids around the house were well, kind of being ignored. Lights were left on, food not put away, etc. We needed a tune up! So, knowing my kids were all motivated to earn money, I tried this system.
~ First, find two small bags. In one, the “money bag”, put cards with coin amounts written on them–$.25, $.50, or whatever you are comfortable with. Put several quarters in the bag also. In another bag, write the daily chores that need to be “sharpened up.”
~ Next, gather the kids around in the evening. Pick a task out of the bag, such as “Made Bed.” Whoever has completed that task successfully for that day gets to pick out of the money bag. So, let’s say two out of your three kids made their bed, they get to pick cards out of the coin bag. And depending on what they draw, they can reach back in and gather that many coins.
~ I would not do this every night, but maybe two or three times a week. It was a great way for the younger kids to earn a few extra coins each week! (oh, and I threw in $1.00 cards every once in a while)
~ On one money card, I wrote “PRAISE”, and if the kids picked that one, they received verbal praise from me (usually a tackle hug or something fun too). Even though this was not quite as fun as money, I wanted to teach them the value of praise and that it could make them feel great too!
3. The final idea for today is for middle and high school kids, shared by my friend Heather this morning.
I don’t know what it’s called, so I’ll make up a name! PROTECT THE LOOT
With this chore motivator, each of the kids gets X amount of money (whatever you might give them in monthly allowance) at the BEGINNING of the month in one dollar bills. The bills go in a container in their room. The goal is for the kids to not lose any money during the month. “How might they lose their loot?,” you ask? Well, each time they don’t do a standard, expected chore (in my house this would be something we have told them about, umm, 431 times), they lose a dollar. Like, putting their wet towel from the shower back on the hook instead of on their bedroom floor.
So, will they choose to protect their loot or not? I can’t wait to give this one a try!