Motivate Kids With Rewards
Lisa - March 23, 2022
How do you get kids to be a positive part of family organization? After all, chores aren’t exactly fun, and sometimes it’s a bother to remember to put things on the calendar. Many families rely on giving their kids rewards for this kind of cooperation; this way, both parents and children get something they like out of it. Some offer treats, while others reserve play time until after chores are done. For harder tasks, building up to grand rewards can also be effective, especially for younger kids. While the ideal is to limit external factors and eventually help kids transition to self-motivation, these methods can be a helpful stepping stone to get started.
First and foremost, these kinds of rewards need to match the work required to earn them. Small tasks like putting away some clothes or marking the calendar may simply merit some praise, like, “Good job!” or “Thank you for doing that.” For everyday chores and homework, it often makes sense to have play time wait until they’re finished for the day. Both of these types of rewards are limitless; you’ll never run out of compliments, and they’ll always want to get time with their friends or their toys.
If your kids have bigger projects to finish, they may need greater rewards to help motivate them. If you want them to rake the whole yard, for instance, you might have to promise a special treat at the end or some extra money they could earn with the effort. Consistently working on a science fair project and finishing it on time could lead to an outing at the park or the theater. Big rewards can also be broken into pieces—to help a child to finish a large book they need to read, you could try having a prize for every milestone, such as every 20 pages or 30 minutes. This periodic boost could be anything from time on a certain video game to some of their favorite food; whatever works for you and your child. You can also combine these ideas—give small treats along the way, then a bigger prize at the end.
When building up to a bigger reward, the motivation is maintained better when the child’s progress is visibly tracked. You’ve seen the checkbox charts where they fill in a square for every day they practice typing or every time they vacuum the floor. Another option is the progress bar, which you can slowly color in according to the effort made, such as how long a child spent weeding the garden that day. For both of these methods, if you want to offer smaller rewards along the way, you can represent them with little pictures in certain boxes or along the top of the bar.
So how can Family Tools help with this? On a basic level, each task includes a field for a note, which could be used for recording the reward associated with that task. This applies to tasks attached to plans as well, which are designed specifically to break projects down into mangeable pieces. These notes will remind kids what they can get by keeping on top of their responsibilities.
Even better, however, is the app’s reward system. It was designed with motivation in mind, and combines the concepts of building up to prizes and getting bonuses along the way. Every action toward organization gives the user EXP, which are points that will add up to let family members reach new levels. This means that kids (and parents) are not just rewarded for chores and other tasks completed, but even for small contributions, like adding to the shopping list or family calendar. The progress they make toward each level is also displayed on their dashboard, helping them to stay motivated along the way.
With enough points, a family member will level up, which will give them a set of in-app rewards to choose from. All of these will be new personalization options, such as personal icons to represent themselves, color schemes to brighten the app’s appearance, and even seasonal options to make things look festive. The set is randomized for each level, so kids will never know what they’ll get, but there should always be enough options to find something they like.
Another little feature is the unexpected bonuses that can pop up. Every so often, a family member will get bonus EXP for a seemingly normal action. For example, checking off a chore is usually 100 points, but once in a while, the app will award 500 instead. There is also a built-in achievement system that tracks how many times a user does different things and gives a large EXP bonus when they reach milestones, such as checking off 25 chores or adding 10 events to the calendar. These little surprises can give kids something else to look forward to, and really boost their progress toward new levels.
On the other hand, leveling up and claiming these rewards is completely optional. If kids have reached the point where they have more self-motivation, they can ignore this aspect and just use the app to stay organized. These options, while fun within the app, also don’t mean a lot outside of it. Your family will have to determine what works to motivate each person, and how Family Tools can help the best.
Organization is even better with the right motivation and the Family Tools app can help get your kids going.