Trick Your Kids Into Doing Chores — and asking for more! + Printable

“I don’t want to do chores!”

Sound familiar?

It’s a common complaint among children and parents alike. The problem is, chores are important.

Without chores, a family would quickly fall into chaos. That’s why today I’m sharing my secret weapon: the exact chore reward system I use to successfully motivate my kids.

It’s been a total game-changer!

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When you have a family, the mess created daily can be incredibly daunting. For instance, if you’re like me, on any given day, your house may look like a toy store exploded as if you never clean (even though you just did it yesterday), and you’re greeted by a cluttered mess of total chaos in every single room…courtesy of your little “angels.” Don’t even get me started on the neverending laundry mountain.

One of my favorite “mom-life” quotes from ScaryMommy expresses my feelings on this subject perfectly:

But, what’s the solution? According to The Clever Stay at Home Mom’s Guide to Getting Organized, moms should delegate household chores to reduce burnout and overwhelm. Guess what? You’ve got help built into the family unit — your kids! Happily, there is a way to get kids to do their chores without much hassle. I’ve done the research and I’ve created a chore system for kids that works every time.

I’ll walk you through the benefits of assigning chores, tips for getting started, how to motivate your kids, plus the exact chore reward system I use with my kids. Everything you need to know about tricking your kids into doing their chores is right here–I’ve got you covered momma!

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A lot of parents resist assigning chores to kids because it can quickly turn into a power struggle. As a result, it may feel less complicated to give up and just tackle all the chores yourself as opposed to dealing with your kids’ emotional drama

The benefits of assigning chores to your kids are numerous.

Firstly, kids who are assigned chores develop valuable life skills like independence, self-reliance, and self-discipline. 

Secondly, it’ll take a lot off your plate. To put it simply, delegating chores to the kids equals less work for you. You’ve got a lot to juggle momma and every bit of help counts! 

Lastly, no matter how big or small each person’s contribution is, working together as a family is a super reliable way to raise kids to become socially conscious team players.

Here’s the bottom line–kids doing their fair share of chores is beneficial to the entire family!

Are You Tired of Nagging Your Kids to Do Chores?

I used to be too! That’s why I created The Complete Chore Reward System. 

It is the most effective chore chart system I’ve ever used. 

It’s a simple point system that my kids love, and it makes them WANT to do chores!

Your kids will get excited about doing chores because they want to earn more points! 

They can redeem their points for rewards like new toys, and games, and even earn bonus points for bigger rewards!

The chore reward system is a super simple way for kids to earn points toward a reward. To use it, just print out the free editable printable chore charts, pick some age-appropriate chores from the list, and assign specific rewards for completing chores, with different levels of rewards–daily, weekly, or monthly chore rewards! 

It’s that easy!

However, keep in mind that school-age & older kids likely won’t want to do chores initially because there are sooooo many other fun things they’d rather be doing.

Here’s why kids initially resist doing chores: 

“Young children and teens are: 

 

lacking in judgment.Most young children have no idea how much work is involved with the running of a household.

impulsive.They want what they want when they want it. Working at activities that are not immediately gratifying to them is not inherently on their agenda.

self-absorbed and concerned mainly about themselves and their own needs.They do not naturally consider the needs and expectations of others.” 

 

The Center for Parenting Education

If you parent tweens, be prepared for some eye-rolling. However, you can minimize the drama with the following tips for getting started with kids of any age.

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Tips for Getting Started with a Chore Reward System

1. Get Your Kids Motivated.

Most importantly, when you first start out with chores, motivation is your biggest issue. You can overcome these challenges by giving them incentives like an allowance or rewards.

Allowance vs. Non-Monetary Rewards

Deciding whether or not to pay your child for chores is a personal family decision.

Receiving an allowance in exchange for duties teaches them that money has to be earned in the real world–after all, you have to work to receive a paycheck.

Consequently, it creates an opportunity to teach them the valuable money management skills of earning, saving, and spending.

This can develop a greater appreciation for the value of the things they save up to buy. So, perhaps they’ll even take better care of their toys because they now understand how much time and work went into earning money for them.

Alternatively, an allowance may hinder their development of intrinsic motivation–meaning doing something because it’s the right thing to do or only because it needs to be done.

With monetary rewards, it may be harder to elicit extra chores.

They’ll do the mental calculation that the time and effort involved in the undertaking isn’t worth the extra money and say “No thanks! I’m good. I’ve already saved enough for my new toy.”

In the long run, if the monetary reward is removed, like in adulthood when no one is going to pay you to clean your own bathroom, the motivation for doing so is lost.

“Give your child an allowance, it’s part of the family’s contribution TO him. AND give your kids chores it’s part of his contribution TO the family. “

Happily Family

This is why non-monetary rewards are more useful for developing intrinsic motivation. Chores simply need to be done.

For toddlers, stickers, verbal praise, and little clapping go a long way.

Using a sticker chart does the trick. They get to pick a sticker of their choice and put it on the chore chart when they’ve done something on their list.

Verbal praise such as, “WOW, what a BIG helper!” and a little clapping for them are free and easy rewards too.

For school-age kids, While checking boxes off a list does offer some gratification for big kids, it’s not likely to have a lasting effect. You could choose the traditional route and pay them a weekly allowance.

On the other hand, if paying an allowance isn’t right for your family, consider offering non-monetary rewards (as we do).

Using a points-based chore reward system still provides the benefit of learning “money” management by earning, saving, and spending the points, they earn towards rewards.

When customizing your rewards list, think about what activities your child enjoys and be sure to include them. The prizes should be clearly spelled out on a list that allows them to choose a tangible reward for their work.

Below are a few of the rewards we use with our school-age kiddo.

Chore Reward Examples

  • Stay up 30 minutes late on Friday or Saturday
  • Pick what’s for dinner
  • A trip to get frozen yogurt
  • Choose the game for family game night
  • $15 shopping spree to a store of their choice
  • 30 minutes of extra screen time

The Complete Chore Reward System functions on a point system, so sizable rewards require more chores to be completed.

An added benefit is you’re sneaking in some math skills.

Your kids can look at the points needed for their desired reward, set their reward goals, then complete enough chores and cash in their earnings!

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2. Assign Age-Appropriate Chores

Chores assigned to kids should be reasonable and developmentally appropriate.

For toddlers and pre-schoolers, doing chores is an excellent method for cultivating social-emotional learning and achieving developmental milestones, like gross and fine motor skills.

If you’re wondering, “what can a toddler actually do to help out?” They are capable of more than you think, like playing “clean-up” of their toys and books.

School-age through teenage kids will learn real-world skills like goal-setting and delayed gratification and maintaining a tidy, organized bedroom.

Below are some other examples of age-appropriate chores by age group: from toddlers to teenagers.

3. Show them how it’s done.

Just like you have to teach toddlers to dress themselves and bigger kids how to ride a bike without training wheels, kids aren’t born with the knowledge of how to tidy and clean.

Be patient with them and show them how it’s done. It may take a few times of doing this for them to get it; keep at it, and you’ll be impressed by what they can accomplish on their own.

Their self-confidence will skyrocket once they see how proud you are of them. Trust me, it’ll be worth the effort!

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An Organized Kid’s Room is Totally Achievable

An organized kid’s room can be achieved pretty easily with a few simple tricks of the trade. Organizing your child’s room can help you create a more peaceful and peaceful environment for your child. 

4. Be Specific.

Break down more complex or multi-step tasks into step-by-step directions that are easy to follow. Write it out in a numbered list if it helps them. Give them the tools they need and set them up for success!

5. Create a Chore Checklist.

I’m a big fan of checklists. They are fantastic for clearly communicating your expectations and eliminating silly excuses like “I forgot.”

Wouldn’t you love to lower both of your frustration levels? Learn the secrets organized moms use to boost productivity and regain me-time with these simple family routines and schedules. 

Toddlers get immense gratification from a Chore Sticker Chart. The Complete Chore Reward System has customizable templates you can print out and start using today!

Give your big kids a chore checklist with boxes they can check off every day of the week once a task is complete. There’s something really satisfying for both adults and kids about checking items off a list and seeing how much is accomplished.

6. Set (and Enforce) Consequences.

For children, consequences lose their effectiveness if they aren’t enforced consistently. Set reasonable punishments, you will actually follow through with. 

In our house consequences include:

 

  • Loss of regular privileges (like screen time)
  • Losing points for breaking important household rules
  • Loss of points for copping an attitude
  • Losing points for not completing everything on the daily chores checklist.

7. Accept imperfection.

Your kids may not do a chore “perfectly” or the way you would do it. What’s important is that they are actually trying. In other words, provide positive feedback so they can learn to do better in the future!

8. Make Chores Fun.

Encourage them to listen to fun music while completing chores. Or incentivize them with “Chore Challenge”. Here’s how: set a timer for a task (say 20 minutes for cleaning their room) and challenge them to beat the timer. Then let them pick a simple daily reward as a bonus. Cleaning your room is way more fun this way!

9. Balance chores with free time.

Kids shouldn’t be so overscheduled and busy with tasks that it takes up their entire day.

“Enjoying themselves when alone and using that time to relax or to learn new skills, such as practicing an instrument, writing, or absorbing a good book are skills that are learned and not innate.” 

 

Psychology Today

10. Provide Encouragement

Always offer encouragement in the form of verbal praise–for kids of any age. Knowing their parents are proud of them is a little reward in and of itself. Recognition for a job well done provides positive reinforcement, meaning you encourage their good behavior to continue. It’s quick, easy, and free!

The Exact Chore Reward System I Use

I created this system for my 9-year-old daughter out of sheer frustration. I was tired of asking her to do something, having to repeat myself multiple times, double-checking to make sure she’d done what I asked, and having to balance the additional mental workload of reminding my child what needs to be done. 

With this Chore Reward System, they have to complete the job, and then after they’ve done their part, they have a reward at the end of the day, week, or month for doing a good job.

To earn extra points quicker, we give our kids the option of completing tasks from the bonus chores list. The list includes chores that aren’t included on the daily chores checklist, like cleaning the bathroom or washing the dogs. 

My daughter actually asks how many bonus chores she can do to earn extra points towards larger rewards (like extra screen time for the day).

It’s been an absolute life-saver and I’m confident it will become your go-to solution too!

It includes instructions on using the system, age-appropriate chore lists, chore checklists, chore reward charts, chore system trackers, and more!

You can Trick Your Kids Into Doing Chores, too!

I’m extremely pleased to tell you that we’ve been using The Complete Chore Reward System for several months and it works like a charm! Our house is no longer a chaotic mess. I’m way less stressed, chores magically get done, and my daughter is extremely pleased by seeing the tangible results of her hard work!

The Complete Chore Reward System is a fun and easy-to-use tool that will limit the power struggle of convincing your kids to do their chores — drama-free! 

Includes:

  • detailed instructions
  • age appropriate chore suggestions for Toddlers through Teens.
  • chore checklists
  • chore rewards list
  • tracking systems to keep score and start earning goodies on Day One!

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  • Amy Thompson

    Hi, I’m Amy! I’m obsessed with getting organized and managing my family life while trying to preserve sanity! I strive to make motherhood as drama-free as possible, and my goal for Drama Free Momma is to help other momma’s do the same. When I’m not blogging, I love traveling, all things Sci-fi, my two dogs, cappuccinos, social justice, planning themed events (it’s like an art form), and creating happy childhood memories for my two beautiful children!

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