How to Motivate Your Children to do Chores

How to Motivate Your Children to do Chores

Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Drop the mic.

I can relate ever so dearly to this quote as cleaning and cleaning and cleaning the SAME things over and over again is what I would do all day. The laundry is never done, the living room becomes messy 5 minutes after it’s been straightened up, and just when I’ve washed what I thought was the last dish, I turn to find 10 more waiting for me…

It seriously is enough to drive anyone insane!

It is the root of most of the negative interactions I have with my children, the cause of all the extra hair in my shower drain, and one of the reasons why wine and lavender are my besties…

Now, I should tell you that I used to have OCD tendencies… When my first-born was a toddler, I kept the house immaculate and followed her around, cleaning up any messes she made. I tried to teach her to put things away when she was done with them, and with one child, it was easy to do.

Back then, it was easy to stop every five minutes and say, “Ok, now let’s put that back where it goes!” I’m not going to go into what happens after the second baby or third baby is born- I let that beast loose in What Life is Really Like with Children, but I will say that it gets increasingly more difficult to keep things the way you like with each subsequent child.

How to Motivate Your Children to do Chores

How to motivate your children to do chores


So as a Mom of 3 crazy kids, I knew I had to do something or I’d snap. I had to come up with some sort of regimen that we could stick to. At first, I started with labeling our cubbies and making it “fun” to clean up.

That ended badly.

They lost interest in the first week and by week two, someone had ripped off all the labels/pictures.

We tried positive reinforcement with dollar store goodies. If they did what was asked, they would get to choose a mystery gift. Well, all the Dollar Store junk ended up broken or in the trash a day or two after they’d receive it. What was worse was that it added to the clutter!! It was actually making more of a mess for me and I didn’t want to keep wasting my money.

Finally, I decided to go with the Chore Chart. It would keep us on a regimen. The kids, for the most part, would expect the same chores every day, which made them easy to remember and at the end of the week (if they had completed all their chores throughout the week) they were given their own money to spend however they’d wish.

How it’s Helping

So we are killing a few birds with one stone here- memory, responsibility, family obligations and financial responsibility. It’s worked well for our family. To make the charts, I found a few great ideas on Pinterest and put them all together. Voila! Sanity saved!

Interested in making your own? Get step by step instructions in How to Make a Chore Chart that Works.

Motivate your #children to do chores with a chore chart and reward system! Share on X


How do you hold your children accountable for their responsibilities? What types of things have worked for your family?


Pamela is a Freelance Writer, Blogger, WAHM of 3, and Veteran Military Wife living in Southwest Texas. Raised in the Northeast and having lived a few years in the Pacific Northwest, she likes to write about mom life, parenting, frugal living, experiences, and WINE. (Lots of wine!) When she’s not busy chasing toddlers around, you can find her on the blog or on social media. Check her out on Instagram:

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