How To Encourage Kids To Do Chores

by Heather Hancock - Date: 2007-04-30 - Word Count: 629 Share This!

I am currently on my second marriage. My new husband and I both had kids from previous marriages. We had a lot of problems getting them to work together and help out around the house. I mean five people in a three bedroom house, doesn't leave much room for messes. My husband and I sat down and brain stormed idea of how to get them to help. What we have come up with has help us tremendously, and I hope that it will help you too.

We devised a system where the kids earn tokens for doing chores, for good behavior, being helpful to each other, working out their problems and so on. The children then save up their tokens for rewards, such as t.v. time, video game play, computer time, toys, and so on. We also have a behavior chart, where the kids receive different colored stars for their behavior for each day of the week. At the end of the week, depending on their stars they receive a set number of tokens. This encourages good behavior at home and outside of the home. We receive notes from their teachers every week so we include behavior at school.

To get started, the first thing you need to set up ways your kids can earn tokens and how many tokens they can earn for each chore. At first you want to make it fairly easy to earn tokens, so they can rep the rewards. Here are a few of the ways my kids earn their tokens (my kids are 4, 8, and 10)

making their beds = 2 tokens
keeping trash picked up = 1
putting away laundry = 1
doing something without being told = 2
resolving conflicts = 2

This is just a few of the things my kids do for tokens. The object is to help to become more independent by relying more on themselves than on you. Also getting them into the habit of saving their tokens will help them with future finances. Customize your list based on what you think your kids are capable of doing at their age and what you think they need to work on. The conflict earnings has made a big difference with my kids, they don't come to me as often with little problems anymore.

The next step will be in choosing the rewards and how much the rewards will cost. This part is a little tricky. We had problems coming up with ideas, but a good suggestion would be to ask for the kids' input. (Which is what we did.) I have mine set up to where they can redeem tokens on a daily basis for certain activities and all other rewards are on a weekly basis. Here are a few examples.

30 min. of tv time (daily reward) = 2 tokens
1 dvd (daily reward) = 3 tokens
trip to park(wkly reward) = 60 tokens
have a friend sleepover(wkly) = 45 tokens

Base the rewards on what your willing to stick to do. We figured what they could do without costing us any money and made those cost fewer tokens than things that cost money. We have options on our rewards that cost money such as, purchasing toys, going to theatre, going to the public pool, ect.

To balance out our program we also added a lose your tokens for section. This is the part the kids don't like, but I find very necessary. They lose a set number of tokens for a variety of things, example, fighting, not listening to directions, leaving messes. (It varies.) This section you will want to determine what bad habits your kids have that you want to stop. You also need to have a way to earn tokens for changing the habit. My kids earn 2 tokens for resolving conflicts and they lose tokens for fighting and arguing.

Related Tags: help, home, children, how to, kids, mom, chores, at home, homemaker

This really works, it just a little brain storming and effort to keep it on track. Good luck and if you have any questions you can go to my web site at

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