Many parents choose to ask their children to help with their household, and believe there are several key pros to giving kids chores. It enables young people to develop practical, real-life skills that they'll need as adults when looking after their own home. Aside from learning how to work a vacuum cleaner or set the table, children also learn about being part of a team and the sense of pride for a job well done. A great way to keep kids motivated to do their chores is with rewards. Rewarding kids for doing chores shows them that you appreciate the effort they've made and gives them an incentive to do their best.
Related: Age-appropriate chores for kids
Do rewards for chores matter?
We all feel more inclined to do something if we are going to get a reward at the end of it. Rewards help motivate and provide positive reinforcement for good behavior. They also acknowledge a job well done. While parental attention and praise are generally the most effective ways to reward a child, tangible rewards such as a treat or an activity also have value. Incentivizing kids to do chores will make them feel more willing to get on with the job and do it carefully. A common misconception is that rewarding your kids for chores is essentially bribing them – but bribes are spontaneous, and rewards are planned. When you have reward systems in place for kids, they already know what you expect of them and what they will get in return.
Why you should pay children for doing household chores
The first rule of economics is that people respond to incentives. Whether you’re a child or an adult, there’s no exception. Using chores as a work-reward system can be one of the most effective ways to teach your children about money management. After all, we all work for our money. Think of it as their first example of the real-world work-based relationships.
By creating a kids' reward system where children earn money based on their productivity, you’re teaching them the value of hard work, how to manage their time appropriately to ensure chores are completed along with homework, going out, and other activities, and the risks associated with not completing assigned tasks (no money).
By getting children to learn how to manage and think critically about these things, you’re teaching them responsibility and helping their confidence and independence; they will really get a sense that the money is theirs as they’ve earned it and they will like that feeling. This could also be your child’s first introduction to handling and using earned money, teaching your child about the relationship between earning, saving, and spending.
Why you shouldn’t pay children for doing household chores
For the most part, we’re big fans of using chores as a tool to teach children about earning, saving, and spending. But the system isn’t perfect. Many argue that chores aren’t tasks that should be met with any reward, rather they’re fundamental and should be taught as a part of what’s expected in everyday life.
If a child begins to get paid for loading the dishwasher every night, doing homework, or keeping their room tidy, some argue it creates a sense of false expectations for real life. Also, some caution that it can send the signal to teens that work isn’t worth doing unless you’re getting paid for it—not a message we want to send to future generations.
Not all chores and rewards are equal
For some families, there might be certain tasks that they expect their children to do without a reward. While it will depend on the child's age and abilities, examples of these tasks may include making the bed, hanging up their coats, and putting their shoes away. These tasks will be specific to each family. However, while there might be certain chores that you don't necessarily want to pay your kids for, there are plenty of other tasks that kids can do in return for a reward.
Use GoHenry to reward your kids for doing chores
Giving your kids money for doing chores can motivate them to help around the house and reward them for their effort. But it can also help to teach them valuable money management skills too. When kids get money for doing their chores, it demonstrates the importance of work but how much you pay for chores is up to you. To earn money, they need to work hard for it. Not only that, with a GoHenry prepaid kids' debit card, they also learn about saving money and responsible spending.
A GoHenry prepaid debit card is a great choice for kids aged 6 to 18 and has considerable benefits for both parents and kids. It works just like a debit card, but unlike a traditional bank debit card, there's no overdraft facility, and kids can only spend what their parents allow them to.
How to reward kids for doing chores
If you work together with your children to create a reward system, they'll understand what they will get in return for completing tasks. They'll also understand that they won't necessarily get a reward for every single chore. There are many different types of reward systems for kids. You just need to find something that works best for your family.
Here are 34 imaginative reward ideas for kids:
- Praise for a job well done: Praising your kid's effort (not their achievement) costs nothing but can mean everything to them.
- New phone app: Treat your kids to a new app of their choice (within reason) on their smartphone.
- Board games afternoon: Getting all their jobs done properly and on time can earn them an afternoon of playing their favorite board games with the family.
- Extra screen time: They can spend longer watching TV or playing their favorite video game.
- Stay up later: Depending on their accomplishment, they could earn themselves a later bedtime.
- Restaurant treat: If they've done exceptionally well with their housework tasks, take them out for a bite to eat as a treat.
- Movie of their choice: They can pick a movie for the family to sit down and watch together.
- Pick a family activity: Let your kids choose an activity for all the family, which can be anything from going to the zoo, a walk in the garden or playing board games.
- Baking day: Spend the day baking up some tasty treats together.
- Role reversal: Let your child be in charge for a day and choose where you go, what you do, watch, and what you eat.
- A sleepover: If they deserve an extra special reward, let them have their best friends stay over for a sleepover
- A playdate: They can pick a friend to come over for a playdate.
- Visit a park: Reward them with a trip to their favorite park.
- Go to the movie theater: They can pick a movie to watch at the movie theater.
- Watch a baseball game: Reward their hard work with tickets to watch their favorite sports team.
- Go to the beach: Treat them to a trip to the beach.
- Have a picnic: Pack up some tasty treats and go somewhere special for a family picnic.
- Go to a museum: Reward them with a trip to a museum.
- Camp in the backyard: If they love adventures, let them camp out in the backyard.
- Money: Give them a financial reward to either save or spend on themselves.
- Go family bowling: Reward kids with a family trip to the bowling alley.
- Night on the town with parents: Let them pick an activity for a night out on the town.
- Favorite dessert: Favorite desserts and treats make super rewards for chores.
- Mini-golfing: Take them mini-golfing for a special reward with family or friends.
- Read them a bedtime story: Let your kid pick a bedtime story for a simple reward.
- Cook them their favorite dish: Treat your child to their favorite dinner or dish.
- Go swimming: Whether in the backyard or the local pool, swimming makes an excellent summertime reward.
- Go for a bike ride: Take them out for a bike ride around the neighborhood or plan a new course for an adventure.
- Family scavenger hunt: A scavenger hunt is an enjoyable reward and a great experience for the whole family.
- Take kids to visit grandparents or relatives: A trip to see relatives can be a fun reward and can get the family involved.
- Take kids to a hotel (just for one night): A big reward can be a one-night stay in a hotel in a fun destination.
- A special gift: Toys, clothes, shoes, gift cards, bedroom decor, concert tickets, and art supplies can all make great rewards for chores that motivate kids.
- Let kids pick the music in the car: Picking the car tunes can be a simple and free way to reward kids for chores.
- Let kids build an obstacle course (in one part of the house): For a fun reward, let kids create a contained obstacle course out of pillows, blankets, and approved easy furniture for the day.
If you want to start financially rewarding your kids for doing chores, then a GoHenry prepaid debit card is the ideal solution. Signing up for a GoHenry prepaid debit card for your kids is easy. Just submit your parent details and order your kids' personalized GoHenry prepaid debit cards. Once they receive their cards in just a few days, you can activate their card using the app. It's then ready for you to set up payments, spending rules and their chores.