In my 11 years as a mom, I’ve only learned one thing — I can’t do it all by myself. Boy, have I learned that! My kids know that in our family we all pitch in to get a job done. They’ve grown up being expected to work but we all still need a bit of motivation every now and then.
We used to do an allowance but we’ve moved to more of a commission system after reading a recommendation in Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and his daughter. My younger kids are often more excited to work to earn video game time than money. Whatever system works for your family, this printable chore chart can help get you started.
To download this chore chart click on the image above or download it here.
Chore Tips for Kids
Clearly spell out your expectations. I can’t tell my kids (especially the younger ones) to go clean their room. It’s overwhelming. I have to tell them to put all the dirty clothes in a laundry basket, pick up the Legos, and make their beds.
Start slowly. It’s just too much to give your kids a huge, long list of chores in the very beginning. Start with one chore and let them get used to doing that one before giving them another responsibility. You’ll have an easier time getting your kids to do their chores willingly and by easing into things you’ll give them time to establish each new chore as a habit.
Be consistent when you offer rewards. No one likes to get their hopes up about getting a reward only to end up not getting it in the end. If you tell your kids you are giving a reward, whether that be money or an opportunity to do something fun, make sure you follow through with that when you said you would. If you offer to pay your kids for chores on Fridays, make sure you have cash in hand to give them or next time they might think twice about actually doing their chore.
Expect age-appropriate results. It’s tempting to jump in and “fix” the job your kids do on certain chores but that’s sending a message to them that you don’t think they did the job well enough. As long as they worked hard and did their best, let them feel good about the job they have done. Now, this isn’t to say that they shouldn’t have to go back and re-do a job that they didn’t do their best on but be realistic in the way you expect chores done. They’ll get better at doing their chores as they practice. Having a chore done less than perfectly is better than not having it done at all.
Give your kids ownership over their chores. My kids are much more likely to do a job well if they know that they are the only one responsible for it. I put one child in charge of each bathroom. When the bathroom gets messy I don’t step in and clean it up for them. That means my kids know if things are messy they are the only one responsible for cleaning it up because no one is going to do it for them. There’s a sense of pride that comes with that too because when the area is clean, that’s all on them too.
What tips do you have for getting your kids do do chores around the house?