How to make your children do household chores?

Photo by Hillshire Farm on Unsplash

I was trying to teach good habits to my kids. I want my kids to fold their bedsheets, clean their rooms, and do household chores. I used to give them advice, sometimes cajoling and nudging them to complete their tasks. It worked for a couple of days or weeks, and then all came back to square one.

So, my wife and I discussed giving them allowances when they complete the tasks. If they clean their room, we give them cash for the task they completed. We thought this would bring in some responsibility. But alas, It worked well during the initial phase; they complete the work and collect their money. However, after some time, they started losing interest. They are willing to forgo the money for the tasks given to them. Further to our dismay, they stopped doing any work unless there is cash compensation involved.

We decided to change the approach. Instead of giving money for the task, we gave them a certain amount of cash upfront at the start of the month. We made a list of activities they need to do for the month. If they fail to do, we will deduct a nominal amount, and they will get lesser allowances the following month. We were a bit skeptical this will work.

To our surprise, they judiciously started doing all the tasks that are expected out of them, and they are very consistent. I haven’t seen a day they missed their chores in the past five months.

It made me think that the cost-benefit between the above approach is almost similar, but giving money upfront and penalizing for missing chores is more effective than giving money per task. It looks like taking away what is entitled is a powerful motivating factor than giving money for the work done. It looks like our brain is more programmed to react to losses than gain.

--

--

--

Tech enthusiast, Project Management. Interested in Complexity science, Economics, Psychology, Philosophy, Human Nature, Behavioral Economics, almost anything.

Recommended from Medium

Embracing Yourself as a Mother in the Workplace

(How This Mom Feels) Sending My Son to College, in Spite of … Everything.

What a cabby taught me about being a dad and a leader

What business and business leaders needs to know about dads

Avani Baby Cradle Cot Cum Stroller (EvaBlue)

Avani Baby Cradle Cot Cum Stroller (EvaBlue)

Will Physical Punishments Help Your Kids?

Picking a Children Mattress: Vital Elements to ThinkAbout https://t.co/UFY4hBVc9y

Things Your Teen Wants to Tell You but is too Angry to Explain Rationally

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Ranjit Damodaran

Ranjit Damodaran

Tech enthusiast, Project Management. Interested in Complexity science, Economics, Psychology, Philosophy, Human Nature, Behavioral Economics, almost anything.

More from Medium

Beautiful Rock Bottom: Six Tips to Push Through When Your Business (or Life) is on the Brink

Beautiful Rock Bottom: Six Tips to Push Through When Your Business (or Life) is on the Brink

Licensing Purdue University Technologies: Veterinary innovations

One Thing People Suck At While Having Conversations

When getting back to work-mood is hard, try these!