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How Do You Get Your Child to Help Out?

I think all parents agree, getting kids to help with chores is not an easy task. I asked local moms what they do to motivate their kids to help around the house.

Each week in Moms Talk, our Moms Council consisting of local Marple and Newtown parents, take your questions, give advice and share solutions.

Question: How do I get my kids to help around the house? Do you pay your child an allowance for his/her help?

Answer from Roe McKernan-O'Brien (mom of 4): My kids all make their beds, put their clean clothes away, straighten up their room, rinse their dishes and put them in the dishwasher. They also all have two nights a week to set the table, pour the drinks, etc., and also take in the empty trash cans. Their reward is that they get to stay here for free!

Answer from Gina D. (mom of 2): My boys have been taking the trash out and then bringing the cans back up and have been giving them each a dollar. I know it's not much but it's something to give them and teach them they have to help around the house too they even will bring up their clean pile if clothes for me

Answer from Lisa N. (mom of 2): We do not pay our kids allowance yet, but are still trying to figure it out. We like them to have a little money to spend on things like school store, but using their own money. My kids are responsible for making their beds and keeping their own rooms clean. Usually Saturday mornings are "clean room days". If they keep them clean during the week, then it's a breeze on the weekends. Taking trash cans up is my son's responsibility. He's 11 now, but started doing it last year.

Answer from Mimi (mom of 3): My kids make/pull up beds each morning, tidy room before school, empty trash cans, dishwasher, bring laundry to washer, but not paid yet (they're 5 and 6). But I will actually give them some money when they help in the yard, pick up sticks, branches, etc., extra stuff that is not part of our daily life.

Answer from Cathy P. (mom of 2): Haven't started with this yet, but have been looking for ideas. One parent I spoke with does have a chart for the children to earn an allowance. I believe it was $0.25 for each thing done (she has young children–ages 4 and 6). It is for daily stuff: brushing teeth, cleaning their room, listening to instructions, clearing the table, etc. We are trying to work towards this. Mainly so they can earn money to do things they want like school store and Wawa.

Answer from Holly L. (mom of 3): My kids don't get any allowance–we try to teach them that they have certain responsibilities, like taking the trash out to and from the curb, making beds, empty dishwasher daily, etc. Once they are done with their chores, they know they then can play XBox or iPod, etc. I guess that's their reward instead of money.

Answer from Bretany Pilko (mom of 2): We just initiated a new chore chart in our house. I told the boys they will get allowance based on extra items that are not daily responsibilities. We expect them to make and set the table for dinner, keep their room tidy and put away their clean laundry. Some extra chores that aren't "expected" but appreciated are helping make meals, sweeping or vacuuming living room or dining room, etc. The problem we find is the kids get excited to help out for about a day or two...and then it fizzles. 

Karen T April 24, 2012 at 06:28 PM
We just started a new way to mix up the chores, so that each child has different responsibilities each day. We have 3 of a wide age range (17, 13 & 9). They each take turns pulling a chore out of a bowl until they have 3 each for that day. I keep a chart and they get a star for each chore they did that day. If someone doesn't do their chore, they don't get a star for that one and the others get a chance to do it and earn an extra star. I pay $5 for each 10 stars & a bonus of $2 extra if they get 20 stars in a week. So far, it's been working well. The chores we use are: feed/water the dogs; set dinner table; clear dinner table; load dishwasher; unload dishwasher; put away leftovers/food from dinner; vacuum; sweep kitchen after dinner; wipe table after dinner. On the weekends, they can earn extra stars for other chores around the house.

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