The pros and cons of popular chore systems

September 23, 2014

If you're thinking about starting a chore system for your children, you might not be sure how to structure it. There are tons of strategies for getting kids involved around the house, but it might take some trial and error to find one that works for your family. Most of the systems you'll find on Pinterest will fall into one of the following categories, so here are the pros and cons of each to help you find the best fit for your kids!

Daily responsibilities
Some parents choose to forego a reward and teach children that chores are simply a part of their family responsibility. The mommy blogger from Your Modern Family explains that her children pick one chore at random to complete every night after dinner. You could also choose to have a list of chores that must be completed each week.

Pros

  • This method teaches children how a family functions. Everyone pitches in!
  • There's no reliance on rewards to complete a task. Throughout life, there are no rewards for hard work, just the satisfaction of knowing what you accomplished. 

Cons

  • You may need to implement a punishment for not helping. If children refuse to do their chores, there needs to be a consequence. Common punishments include going to bed early or not getting dessert. Tough love is hard, but necessary for this method to be successful.

Chore chart
There are so many creative ways to make a chore chart for kids. You can have set chores for each day or make it the luck of the draw. Use stickers or hole punches to keep track of which tasks are completed. Some parents, like Clean Mama, give their children a small allowance when they complete all their chores for the week.

Pros

  • It teaches accountability, as each child keeps track of completed chores.
  • This system is not only fun, but easily customized. Pinterest has tons of ideas for creating and enforcing chore charts. 
  • If children don't complete their chores, there's a set consequence - no allowance.

Cons

  • Some parents don't like to give children allowances, and this system is hard to implement without a reward at the end of each week.
  • You'll need to make sure that your children are doing their chores thoroughly, and not skipping steps to get a sticker.

Rewards for chores
Finally, some systems attach a monetary reward or other benefit to each individual chore. Parents might choose to give children $1 for cleaning their bedroom or $2 for helping to fold laundry. Alternatively, this system can help you to allocate television or computer time.

Pros

  • You can tailor chores to what needs to be done in the house that day.
  • Children will be eager to help out when there is the possibility of a reward.

Cons

  • If your children don't want the rewards, there's no incentive to complete any chores.
  • Relying on a reward system doesn't teach children about family responsibility. Some parents recommend only using this system to get kids started on chores, and slowing weaning off as they get older.

Remember, the chore system you choose may not work at first! You may have to experiment with a mixture of these different systems and various incentives before you find something that works for your family. Once you get kids involved in housework, they'll learn a lot about work ethic and reward systems. Plus, the household chores will get done quicker, and you can spend more time doing fun activities as a family!

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