Creating a chore contract for your kids can have a great payoff. As well as the fact it allows for an extra pair of hands to help around the house, chore contracts can teach children responsibility and be a great way for them to earn an allowance. It can also teach them what it means to have a job, be paid for doing it, and the value of money. Check out our printable chore contract to help promote better habits.
Related: Age-appropriate chores for kids
What is a chore contract?
Do you reward your kids with extra allowance, more screen time, or a later bedtime? It’s when these small luxuries become expectations that unexpected behaviors can arise.
A chore contract can provide accountability on both sides. In exchange for a reward, be it a luxury like extra allowance, or takeout over the weekend, your child is required to complete an agreed set of tasks.
Why use a chore contract with your child?
Accountability and responsibility are two important life lessons. In simple terms, an age-appropriate chores list and a contract signed by both parties teach cause and effect.
Rewarding children with an allowance for holding up their side of the contract can also bring lots of positive benefits. After all, according to Cambridge University, children's money habits are set in stone by age 7.
It's important to make the chore contract feel like a choice rather than a punishment. That way, your child may feel a sense of responsibility to hold up their end of the bargain: ‘You must sign here,’ might not work as well.
How to make a chore contract?
Here is an example:
I, (insert name here), agree to complete the following chores every day:
- Put dirty laundry in the hamper
- Wash my dishes after dinner
- Tidy up my bedroom
If I finish my paid tasks, I will be able to:
- Have a later bedtime
- Buy candy in the grocery store
- Earn money for my chores
The right chore contract lists the tasks you need to be done, and the luxuries that your child wants to have or get. Plus, the contract can always be renegotiated - all that is completely up to you and your family.
How to help your child with filling in the chore contract?
It's important to set achievable goals and rewards that will be sustainable in the long term. Keep both sides happy by inviting your child to write the contract with you, and let them suggest some rewards.
You might want to offer a selection of chores which your child can pick from each week to give them more choice and variety. Make it interactive by letting kids decorate their contracts and mark tasks off themselves, just as they can do in the GoHenry app.
How GoHenry helps with rewarding children for chores
The Youth Economy Report shows that over 70% of young people in the US say earning their own money is important. In the GoHenry kids' debit card app, parents or guardians can create paid chores. When the child marks it as complete, and the parent or caregiver approves, money is automatically transferred into your kid's GoHenry account.
GoHenry kids also get access to in-app Money Missions, that are designed to help them develop money skills and good financial habits that will benefit them for years to come.
Of course, it is up to you how much you pay your child for doing paid chores, but GoHenry helps you track assigned chores and send automatic payments once they’re complete.