How do you motivate your kids to do chores?

We have a chore chart we use, and they get an allowance now that they’re older. If they don’t do their chores, no allowance that week.

What do you do to motivate our kids to help around the house?


Thanks for this! I’m going to do this for my kids!!!

I use CANDY as a motivator. We still have holiday candy!! I also encourage them to race angst the clock. It is working for now. I feel like I have to threaten them though. When they complain I have to issue a consequence. UGH!

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We let natural consequences happen. Ie if they don’t clean out their lunch boxes (needed twice a week) they don’t have lunch in it. First you clean the lunch box then you get lunch. Really it just means a later lunch as no one goes starving but it only took a couple times to figure it out. This was also after they had been taught and and this was supposed to be regular part of the week. I just realized I was way OVER reminding them. The natural consequences spoke way more volume than my constant reminding!

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We use a “chore chart,” which is really a whiteboard. I write on the whiteboard a list of things that I’d like done, and I assign a number of points to each chore. Then I put two little boxes after the number of points. So it might look like this:

Unload dishwasher 8 [ ] [ ]
Fold basket of laundry 10 [ ] [ ]
Put away books in playroom 4 [ ] [ ]

At the top of the chart, I write several rewards that the kids can earn by doing chores. I vary these every time, but they include things like a healthy snack, a picture book that I’ll read them, a coloring page that I’ll print out for them, a treat snack, 20 minutes on the iPad, dance together to a song, etc. I’ll make one reward available at 15 points, another at 30 points, another at 45 points, or whatever. Then they can pick and choose what chores they want to do and earn points and get small rewards. They write their initial in the first box if they claim a chore and are about to start on it, then they put a check in the second box to mark that they’ve completed the chore. It’s great for math, too, with figuring out how many points they need, etc.

I have all girls, and I try to add a lot of cuteness in, too. So when folding laundry or cleaning the playroom appear on the chore list, I try to make them a bit more fun. So each laundry basket gets a label with a name, like “Baby Penguin basket,” which has a picture of a baby penguin on it. I reuse these labels and keep them in a pile near where we fold laundry, so all I need to do is to set out the baskets of laundry that need folding, and put a label on each. Then on the chore chart, I would write "Fold Baby Penguin basket 10 [ ] [ ] " and they can sign up for it. I do the same whenever the playroom gets really bad and needs to be tidied. I push everything on the floor into little piles, then I put labels on each pile with cute animal names, and give them points according to how large they are and how complicated they are to put away. The kids are much more enthusiastic about putting away “Baby Lemur pile” and “Baby Panda pile” (yes, they all have “baby” names–I told you I have little girls, right?) than they used to be about putting away “pile A” and “pile D.” If Baby Lemur pile is just a small stack of books, it may only be worth 2 points, but if Baby Panda pile has a ton of small items that all have to be sorted into the correct bins, it might be worth 7 or 11 points.

Anyway, my kids enjoy this system so much that they will actually ask if we can do a chore chart, because they love the rewards. We don’t always do it, but we especially tend to do it when we have a lot to get done.

We have Accountable Kids. It is great for the kids but doesn’t work when I don’t follow through. Basically, the kids earn tickets for completing their morning, daytime, and nightly chores. I haven’t fully figured out what all they can spend tickets on though. Screen games, tv shows, and earning Skylanders figures are the only things I have really found. I must explore more on the reward system and I don’t honestly know how much I like the reward system used for responsibilities.

I’m still working on the motivation part of chores, haven’t figured out what works for us on a day to day basis. However,I’ve found something that is very successful for a week or so every few months.

We give each kid one age appropriate job like unloading the dishwasher or taking the dirty laundry to the laundry room. Then when it’s time to switch (my hubby calls it leveling up!) we spend a week or so “training” each other on the chores. The younger love getting to do the 'big kid jobs" and the olders love to be the teachers. Training week, even though they’re doing both their old job and learning their new job, is the one week where all chores get done!

We have been doing the Financial Peace Junior curriculum by Dave Ramsey. My daughter (6) loves it! She loves having her own responsibilities and having pay day each week. She has her 3 envelopes for give, save & spend. She is learning a lot about managing her money through this with the workbook, books and audio books. It has made doing chores fun. We will be starting it with our son when he turns 3, he really wants one of his own :smiley:


We use the Dave Ramsey kit for our kids too. We have a chore chart, and they mark off each chore after they complete it. At the end of the week, they get paid a quarter for each mark. They put some away for giving, and some away for saving, and can spend the rest. They have all learned to save up for bigger toys they want, and they are learning the emotions of choosing one purchase over another.

Now, whenever they ask for a toy at the store, all I have to do is ask if they have enough money. If they don’t, they know they need to do more chores and save up. My daughter will usually ask for extra chores to make some extra money. In their minds, Work=Money. No work=no money.


I tried rewarding with money but found that My kids are into bubble gum. I’ve started with laundry- one hangs up the shirts while the other folds and then they both put away. (Sometimes I sneak an extra clean up or pick up area in there before gum dispensing time, hehe) They line up and chose a piece of bubble tape or a few small gum balls (we bought a super cheap gum all dispenser for $1, they had them out around the holidays). It works for now!

Our kiddos don’t earn anything for chores they get to participate in chores because they are a part of our family and we are a team; we give an allowance once a week (any arguing they get tally marks and we deduct $0.25 from their total 5.00 a week per argument/unkind word) the arguing includes when it is chore time, so we usually remind them of this :smile: I make a list if what needs done on Saturday and we all choose a few to complete. As the week goes on each person chooses one each day to complete (I work outside our home 4 days a week for total of 25 hours so we really have to break it up) they also have their morning routine /evening routine chores which mainly involve just taking care of their things, hygiene , etc. This system has worked really well the past few months. We have tried rewards previously but my sweet ADHD/asperger/ OCD/ODD kiddo always wanted to negotiate. This is black and white to him with no wiggle room .

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We have a laminated paper for each child and clip on clothes pins with a picture of reach chore they need to finish each day. When they finish a chore the turn the pin over to show its done. When all clips are turned over they get 1 hour of screen time. (after school time)

No chores, no privileges for the day.
Privileges include: iphone, tape, bungee cords, access to the craft drawer (where we store all the “good” craft supplies)

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Luckily for me, my kids mostly just love to help, so I don’t have to motivate them much. But a very successful tool for getting them to do things is “when-then.” When you finish (chore), then you may (something they are asking to do). When they have completed that chore, they already know what they can do, and if they don’t, they already know the consequence. There’s no need to remind or hover. Simply say it and walk away (no power struggle). If they don’t do their chore, you can simply say, “sorry you chose not to (chore), I believe you will make a better choice next time (and walk away - again no power struggle or fight and the child can save face).”