How to Get Your Kids to do Chores with a Point System

By Heather Montgomery
A point system might make chores more rewarding for your children.
A point system might make chores more rewarding for your children.

Chores are a part of being a productive family member. Not only do chores help reduce the burden on you to keep your home running smoothly, chores also teach children the value of hard work, according to healthychildren.org. Unfortunately, motivating your children to complete a list of chores might be a struggle. One way to help is to create a point system to complete the chores.

Compile a list of chores that need to be done in your home on a daily and weekly basis. These chores include making beds, doing the dishes, sweeping the floor, taking out trash, cleaning bedrooms, picking up toys, setting the table, cleaning bathrooms, weeding the garden and any other tasks that help keep your home running smoothly. Also add brushing teeth, taking a shower, getting dressed for the day or other hygiene items that you want you child to complete by themselves on a daily basis.

List each chore on the left side of the poster board and each child’s name across the top of the poster board. Draw a vertical line down the poster board to make a column for each child.

Talk with your children about the point system and ask for your children's input on how many points should correspond with each chore. This helps get your children involved in the process and gives the responsibility over to the child to help set realistic expectations. Ask for ideas about the rewards or prizes the top earner of points will receive at the end of each week.

Create a legend at the bottom of the poster that lists each chore, the point value associated with the chore -- assigning higher points to difficult chores like weeding and lower points to easier chores like making the bed -- and the days of the week you expect the chore completed.

Laminate the poster board with contact or laminating sheets to create a reusable chart you can write on with dry erase markers each time your child completes a chore.

Discuss the chore chart and how the point system will work with your children. Lay out your expectations for each chore. Explain that each child is in control of how many points he earns by doing the most chores without being asked. Talk about the prizes the top earner will win and that each week the point system resets, giving everyone a fair opportunity to win in the coming week.

Place the chart in a common area like the refrigerator so it is visible to everyone on a daily basis to remind your children what chores to do that day.

Write the point value under the child’s name and next to the chore after it is complete. At the end of the week, add up the points that each child earned and award a prize to the child with the most points. If you are concerned that your other children might find this point system unfair, have the prize be something the entire family can enjoy, like picking the next family outing or dessert for the next meal, in addition to a small prize to reward everyone for the chores completed during the week.

Plan a weekly family meeting to award the prizes, praise the efforts of all of your children for completing chores and discuss any changes to the points or additional chores that you might need to make.

Things You Will Need

  • Poster board
  • Markers
  • Ruler
  • Contact or laminating paper
  • Dry erase markers
  • Calculator
  • Prizes

Tip

If your children are a range of ages, you might want to assign specific chores to each child, but make sure that the chores all add up to the same amount of points to eliminate an unfair advantage for an older child able to do chores that are more difficult. If chores are something your children have not done before, take time to teach each child how to complete the chore. Avoid reminding your children of the chores that need to be done; the top point earner will reap the most rewards for doing chores, teaching your child that if he wants a reward he needs to do the work.

About the Author

Based in Lakeland, FL., Heather Montgomery has been writing a popular celebrity parenting blog and several parenting and relationship articles since 2011. Her work also appears on eHow and Everyday Family and she focuses her writing on topics about parenting, crafts, education and family relationships. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in early education from Fort Hays State University.