Just about all families expect children to contribute in some way to family life. Some children have household chores or jobs they’re responsible for every day or week, while others do it automatically, or when asked to.
Either way, making chores a part of the weekly or monthly pocket money is a great idea. Not only does it give children a sense of financial independence and control. It is also a way for children to practice financial decision making. That is, is the time I’m going to put into doing this chore worth the reward I’ll get down the line? A valuable skill that will serve them well in their working life.
The Gimi App introduces chores and rewards in an unforced manner to children, most children find that it is fun to do chores and primarily need a way of keeping track and being independent about their chores. Obviously, related to this is the development of financial literacy and the motivational factor of added pocket money.
At what age should children start doing chores?
Children of any age can do chores. Even a young child can start to help out if you choose activities that are suited for his age. A chore that’s too hard for a child can be frustrating – or even dangerous – and one that’s too easy might be boring to the point that the child simply quits. For the youngest, start with simple jobs like looking after and storing away their own toys. And increase the difficulty and responsibilities as the child grows older.
It’s also important to think about chores or tasks that get your child involved in caring for the family as a whole. A simple one is getting your child to help with setting or clearing the table. Jobs like these are likely to give your child a sense of responsibility and participation.
Here are some ideas for chores for children of different ages.
Younger children (5-8 years)
Set the table for meals.
- Help with preparing meals, under supervision.
- Help put clean clothes into piles for each family member, ready to fold.
- Help with grocery shopping and putting away groceries.
- Hand you wet clothes to be hung out to dry.
School-age children (9-12 years)
- Water the garden and indoor plants.
- Feed pets.
- Clean the bathroom sink, wipe down kitchen benches, mop floors or take out the rubbish.
- Help hang out clothes and fold washing.
- Put away crockery and cutlery.
- Help with choosing meals and shopping.
- Help with meal preparation and serving, under supervision.
What are some chores for teenagers?
The teen years bring new challenges when it comes to chores. Cleaning up together as a family may no longer be much of a draw. But don’t give up. Your teen may value the experience more than s/he lets on.
Here are some ideas regarding chores for teenagers:
- Sweep and vacuum
- Clean shared spaces
- Clean the bathroom
- Prepare a weekly meal
- Mow the lawn
- Do the dishes
- Chores & rewards
Chores & rewards
When you put a monetary value on a chore it signals that it’s ok not to do the chore and don’t get the reward. So when explaining the concept of rewards, make sure to tell your child that it’s voluntary to do them. The upside is earning money, and the downside is not getting the money. It’s as clear as the fact that you get wet when you play outside and don’t wear a raincoat. While rewarding chores through pocket money motivates your children, it should be clearly communicated that some chores are something that they should do for other reasons.
Monetary rewards are a great motivator. In addition, you can also consider the following rewards to get your child motivated to do chores:
- Do the chore together until your child is ready to do it on her or his own
- Talk about why it’s great that a particular chore has been done
- Open up for the possibility for children to suggest their own chores
Chore rewards chart template
Get started with chore rewards with the Gimi App – a great way to develop positive behaviour and financial superskills for your children. If you want to keep it analogue you can download our reward chart template!