Chores - Cedar Lake,IN

Updated on June 14, 2010
A.A. asks from Lansing, IL
9 answers

I am wondering what type of reward systems you moms use with your children. I have found an awesome chore chart and want to offer "rewards" when things are done properly. I just am not sure how to value the chores-I am really liking the marble jar for each child.....what rewards do you offer your children? I really want this time around to be the last-I've made several charts before and never followed through with anything.....with it being summer I definately need the help and they need to learn a little responsibility/appreciation. Thanks!!!!!
EDIT-I have 4 dd twins that are almost 9, 4y/o and 3 y/o. I was thinking that I could rotate chores or do cards or let them pick their chore sometimes.

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answers from Dallas on

I think it's important to be rewarded for good work. We as adults get rewarded for good work by getting jobs, raises, bonuses, etc.
I have my 9 year old keep her room clean, feed the dog, put away her things, watching the baby for me while I do housework, etc. BUT, she has to do it with a good attitude.
She has a list that she goes by daily and she is rewarded by getting allowance and extra for doing extra stuff like ice cream from the ice cream truck, a treat from the dollar store, etc.

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answers from Orlando on

There is no reward (or allowance) for doing chores in my house. As members of the family, my children have certain responsibilities and they have to do them.

A sanity helper I did one year was a dime bowl. I had a "no teasing, tattling, or whining" rule. If they did NOT do any of those all day, they would each get a dime for the bowl. You can give them warnings, like if they start to whine, you can remind them about the dime. If they start to tattle and you remind about the dime, it's amazing how quickly they can work it out themselves. On a particularly off day, you can warn that if they continue to tease, tattle, or whine that you will start taking a dime OUT of the bowl for each infraction!! You might want to have more than one bowl since you have 4 kids (one for the twins and one for the younger ones, or 4 seperate bowls).... Then the dimes were used to buy slurpees as a summer treat. It worked for us one summer years ago. It got to the point where they forgot about the long term goal of the slurpee and they just worked to try and each get their dime for the day.

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answers from St. Cloud on

I think that just telling them what a great job they do and how much it helps everyone when everyone works together to keep things in order. Everyone has responsibilities in life and it is important to teach kids through life jobs.

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answers from Sioux City on

I don't offer rewards for doing chores. They live in the house so why shouldn't they help keep it clean and neat. Why reward them for cleaning up after themselves. I provide for them, teach them, care for them...... why should I have to reward them for respecting what my husband and I have provided for them? That's expected behavior. If I lived in someones house I wouldn't expect them to reward me for cleaning up after myself. I would do it out of gratitude for their kindness.

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answers from St. Louis on

I guess it depends on their age. My 8 yr old son has daily chores (making bed, clearing table, rinsing out bathroom sink, cleaning litterbox, etc.) and once a week chores (Saturday is laundry day so emptying hamper and bringing his dirty clothes downstairs to put in basket on top of dryer so I can wash them, putting away clean clothes, cleaning room etc.) for which he gets an allowance every friday. He can spend his allowance on whatever he wants. Since we have implemented it it works our wonderfully, he only needs to be reminded once in a while...and it's a regular and reliable reward system that teaches him responsibility.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Well the most important thing is to be consistant. You and your children. Make clear who does what and be sure to show them how you want things done, then ask them to show you they know how and ask if they have any questions...this eliminates the good ole "I didn't know!" lol

With it being summer, small, inexpensive trips to ice cream, smoothie, park etc would be appropriate. If you are taking a family trip perhaps a monetary compensation for some spending fun would be motivating to them. If you have more then 1 child, remember that each child is motivated by something different, prizes, praise, money, trips, perhaps clothes or a new pair of earrings! Hope this helps



answers from Chicago on

I NEVER kept up with chore charts and point systems! They always start to work and then they are more work keeping them up!

My almost-9-year-old has a notebook. Each day has her routine on it, her morning routine, her chores for the day, bedtime routine, etc. I have everything in plastic sheets. She crosses off her chores with a dry erase marker when she has completed them. At the end of the week we wipe it down to use again. This lets her be independent. When she was younger we had pictures too.

Instead of a sticker chart or anything she's just expected to do her chores. HOWEVER, we are lucky enough to have a House Fairy! Our House Fairy visits once a week to see if the room is clean and chores are done. We never know when she is coming! So we need to keep our chores done and our rooms clean at all times. Our House Fairy leaves a small surprise on the pillow if the chores are done, but she leaves fairy dust (confetti) on the rug if they are not. And the fairy dust has to be vacuumed up.

Our House Fairy has made it possible for Mom to not have to do sticker charts! But a small reward is given each week, I think our House Fairy shops at the dollar section at Target ;)

Visit to see the website, but you don't have to join to tell your kids about the House Fairy. I joined to support this wonderful idea. Our House Fairy has been coming for over a year and is very successful!

I think all your children would love the House Fairy, she's magic. And you could do cards for the kids to pick their chores. My DD leaves notes for the House Fairy :) The House Fairy is very proud of her!!



answers from Chicago on

I think it's ok to reward once in a while. When we started, we had a little chart with all of the chores listed, and the boys got stickers when they did their chores and after the chart was complete, we did something fun. But we don't do that now. I think it's important for the kids to understand that everyone lives in the house together, and everyone has responsibilities, even them (i.e. Mommy washes your clothes, but it is your job to put them in the hamper for me to take). It's a great way to teach your kid how to be a productive member of society without always doing things because they expect something in return. I say kudos for you for getting them started now! The sooner the better.

By the way, kids do love the feeling of being important and having responsibility. You will see the pride on their face when they finish a task. Be sure to give lots of good praises, and say how proud you are when they do their work! Good luck.



answers from Portland on

I agree that being rewarded for doing each individual chore is counter productive to teaching that everyone in the household has a share in making it run as smoothly as possible. I do give an allowance that is based on their involvement in the household. They don't have to meet any particular criteria from week to week but the amount is negotiable just as a wage is negotiable.

Also, for me, getting treats, such as ice cream from the ice cream van, is also a given just because the child is loved. One doesn't have to work to earn treats.

My daughter came to live with me when she was 7 and we never reached the point that enforcing doing chores was consistent on my part. I was dealing with too many other emotional issues. Looking back, I do wonder if it would have helped if I'd focused on incorporating her into the household by consistently requiring chores. If I had to do it over again, I would.

However, I would not give rewards. I'd use a check off sheet or chore chart that listed the chores to be done and when so that my child would be able to see in writing what was required and be able to check off when they were done. Being able to make that check is a reward in its self. For myself, I am more organized and get more done when I make a list and I do feel good when I'm able to cross things off. I think a chore chart with check offs is good training for being an adult.

I've seen several really good charts. I suggest that if you found one that is awesome for you that you're more likely to follow thru. If the chart is fun for you you'll be more involved in using it.

A point about treats. Treats are another way to provide incentives for right behavior. When the child hasn't yet completed a chore that was to be done by a certain time then there is not time to have an ice cream bar. This is a realistic way to teach time management. I don't know how to do this with an ice cream bar when there is such a wide age difference in children.

There are other situations that are more easily managed in a consistent way. For example, my daughter told her children that they'd go to the park once their room was clean. They dawdled all morning and when it was lunch time they were ready to take that picnic to the park. My daughter told them they couldn't take a picnic to the park because their room wasn't clean. So they had lunch and went back to their room. They didn't get the room clean and never went to the park that day. Oh, well, maybe next time you'll get your room clean so that we can go.

I would have done some parts of that differently based on the children's personalities and earlier experiences but I agree with the idea. We finish our work before we play. When all of us do our best to be consistent and work together to get the work done we do have more fun. That is a natural reward.

I would be sure to include lots of praise, letting each child know that you are proud of how well they completed the chore or even how proud you are that they tried even when they weren't able, for a reasonable reason, to not complete the chore. Proud that they started and know that next time they'll finish. That sort of thing.

One thing that I've learned and wish I'd understood when I was raising my daughter is that assigning chores is only the beginning. Make a list of chores and let the child choose at least one of them for themselves. I have done that and it works. However, that is just the beginning.

The parent needs to be involved in the chore. Not by doing it but by talking about the process. Discuss with the child what is the criteria for being "done properly?" What is considered proper depends on the age of the child and their experience. Start with a loose description and talk about it in a casual way until the child understands and is able to meet the criteria and feel good about doing it. Increase your expectations over time while giving the child plenty of opportunity to be proud of their work.

This means the parent needs to maintain a calm and positive attitude about the chore and teaching it. No nagging! No put downs! When the child is dawdling or not doing the chore, focus on the dawdling or the lack of compliance without criticizing the chore. For example, if the child was to make their bed before lunch and hasn't done it then the child isn't able to do anything else until the chore is done. You could combine this with a time out. All said in a calm way not in a frustrated or nagging way. This is just the way it is.

Working along side the child when the child is beginning to do chores helps tremendously. I tended to think that I could explain, show the child what to do, once they were in grade school, and then go about my own chores. Always, I'd find the child playing and the chore undone when I went back to them. And I would once more tell them to get busy and walk away. I would get so frustrated. And so now I work along side them. If they're to put dishes in the dishwasher, I'm in the kitchen, picking up and putting away. We're talking together as we work. Once their routine in doing this chore is established then I can work in a different room. Children need our help to learn good work habits. They don't come naturally for most children.

The reason that I and I think my daughter abandoned chore charts is that by themselves they don't work. They have to be a part of a detailed plan that teaches children to follow thru. Only when we follow thru are they able to follow thru.

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