5 Motivation and Allowance Ideas That Get Chores DONE
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When it comes to getting kids to do chores, are you riding the struggle bus? Studies suggest that kids who do chores are more successful as adults. Get your kids off to a great start with these brilliant, proven cleaning hacks!
Chores being ignored? Remember the 3 C’s.
What are the 3 C’s? Cause, currency, and consistency. The cause sets the groundwork for the who, what, where, when, and – most importantly – why! Let’s face it, the majority of the time it’s the reward that drives the “desire” to do chores.
When the type of currency is valuable to kids (whether it’s more screen time, privileges, or cold hard cash), it will help motivate them to complete chores sooner, rather than later.
Above all, the most important thing to remember is to be consistent. Your kids will have no problem wearing you down until you stop asking. Don’t give in! Follow along with some of these other tips to get your kids to finish chores without constantly having to ask.
1.) Try a non-monetary reward.
Using a no-cost reward is especially helpful around birthdays or holidays where extra money is already being allocated for gifts.
- Meal control: If you want help with getting dinner together, why not let them choose the entree, side dish, or dessert? It gives you an extra hand in the kitchen and they’ll be, dare I say, excited to participate!
- Family activities: Have a job that requires hard labor, such as yard work? Incentivize them to help with raking leaves or clearing away sticks by offering to play an outdoor game as a family afterwards. Up the stakes by placing a bet (the losing team has to do dishes after dinner)! For moments when the weather takes a turn for the worse, let them pick a Redbox movie (get a 1-night rental free if you join their rewards program!) for the family to watch together.
2.) Take something away.
When it’s time to do a bit of enforcing, the trick is to take away what they’re doing to avoid the chores. If needed, try taking away:
- WiFi – This is probably the main culprit to the distraction. Change the wifi password and only share it once the chores are done.
- Data – When WiFi is taken away, data usage comes into play when that internet source isn’t available. The worst part – you’re probably paying for that! Block their data through your carrier or use an app such as OurPact to block their ability to access their favorite apps.
- Smartphones – Did they figure out workarounds to the blocked WiFi, data, or apps? A last resort is to take the phone away and lock in a safe box. To make it even more torturous, keep the box in the middle of the room with the phone’s sound or vibration on so that they can hear every missed text or notification – it might make them work faster!
- Privileges – Are they looking forward to plans, like going to a friend’s house or wanting to play video games? Enforce a rule that once the chores are done, they can go about their plans. Again, it’s another way to speed up the turnaround time on tasks.
When my kids don’t help or have a messy room for too long, I take iPads. They have to earn them. They are motivated to earn iPad time more than money and they LOVE money lol! – Michelle at Hip2Save
3.) Visualize the task at hand.
Turn chores into a game or use a fun chart to help create, delegate, and accomplish household tasks. This list has some unique chore chart ideas to get you started, which you can customize to work for your family. You could also try out some other fun ideas:
- 50/50 tickets: Hang a roll of tickets on a dowel. Each time a chore is completed, they earn a ticket and can put the ticket in their designated jar. The tickets can be cashed in for money or privileges.
- Marbles: Set out a glass jar with a “fill line” drawn on. When a chore is completed, or they help out when they’re not asked, add marbles to the jar. Once the marbles reach the fill line, they can cash them in for their allowance. If you have multiple kids, let them use the marbles as currency so they can “pay” siblings to cover chores for them.
Another idea is that they see the job chart for the week and only get paid if they take the initiative to pick jobs off the board and then do them. This way it teaches them to take action on their own and get the job done without being told. – Jami at Hip2Save
4.) Incentivize with different types of allowance.
Allowance in the traditional sense usually means cash. While it’s probably still the most common and viable form of allowance, your kids may find more value in other types of payment.
- Screentime: This is a HUGE part of many kids daily lives, so make it a reward by extending current privileges using smartphones, tablets, and computers.
- Mom Bucks: Make your own currency! Have kids earn “Mom Bucks” through chores for them to spend on privileges.
- Point System: If you find yourself in a situation where your kids need to get back on a level playing field before they earn allowance, consider a point system for them to earn their way out of trouble.
We live rurally so it takes about $12 in fuel money to go to any of the events our oldest wants to go to. We make him “earn” the $12 in fuel money by completing certain chores (i.e. dishes = $2) – Stacy at Hip2Save
If you do land on an allowance that’s not cash, teach your kids about the value of money with these fun financial products geared for kid’s learning.
5.) Make allowance age & task appropriate.
I’ve heard people ask quite bit about appropriate allowance amounts. There are a couple different methods to approaching this:
- Payment per minute: Break down the chores by how many minutes it takes to complete them and set a value per minute – i.e. set the minute wage to $0.15 a minute. A 5-minute task, like watering flowers, would yield $0.75 where a 15-minute task, like vacuuming, would yield a little over $2. As kids grow older their chores will require more time, so the total payment would scale with age.
- Chore ranking: Rank chore value on a scale from 1-4, with 1=$0.25, 2=$0.50, 3=$0.75, and 4=$1.00. A chore like making their bed could be valued at 1, where a chore like vacuuming the living room could be 4.
My kids get half their age in allowance each week, which they have to budget and use for their entertainment and purchases. They have specific chores that are required of them to not get “fired” each week, and then we have extra chores they can do to earn extra money. So for example my 12 year old gets $6 a week. – Michelle at Hip2Save
These figures are just meant to be examples as allowances can vary widely between families. It could help to establish a minimum and maximum of earning potential for the week so chores don’t get left behind or completed twice for more money.
If you’re wondering which chores are best suited for certain ages, check out our Age Appropriate Chores Chart printable.
Above all, be consistent.
You’ve taken the time to establish a system and designate the payout, so it’s important to see all your hard work through! And remember – what works for one family may not work for another. Customize these tips for your lifestyle.