Pay Kids For Chores With Screen Time Tokens Instead Of An Allowance

Pay Kids for Chores with Screen Time Tokens Instead of an Allowance

Having trouble getting your kids to do their chores without the usual dillydallying or complaining? Turn it into a game they'll actually be motivated to play with these DIY game tokens.

The concept is simple: Do a chore and "earn" 15, 30 or 60 minutes of game or TV time, depending on the chore. Little Mum on the Prairie says in her Instructable:

I started using an alternate version of the reward system with my daughter, to balance out our struggles of getting her to help out with chores and limiting her computer/game time. I made these little "game tokens" that she can earn by doing her chores without complaining, and when we ask her to do them (not later, not in 5 minutes, now!)

In our home we believe you do things around the house because you are a member of the family and you benefit from it, not because you get paid to - no one else gets paid to do housework. But its been shown that a reward system of some sort works better than negative reinforcement...This balances her desire to waste her life in front of the TV with the necessary chores she needs to complete. :)

If you want to try this yourself, you just need to paint some wood craft discs. Another idea is to put the chore on the back of the token, rather than a list of chores as this mum uses.

Game Tokens (Instead of Allowance) Reward System [Instructables via Boing Boing]


    An add on to this too, they could convert time for money to buy stuff later on. like say every 1 hour is $10.

    That way, they need to determine which they want the most.

    This works in my house. We have a chart where my son earns "X-box points" which are rewards for chores and good behaviour. Each is worth about 6 minutes, and he needs a minimum of 10 points to switch it on. You can get "bad" points in our house too.

    My problem is that this ignorant lady puts ALL time on front of the TV down as "wasting life". I'd probably be a little more worried how providing her with constant negative reinforcement in her interests is going to work out. I consider football worthless but if my kid loved football, I wouldn't tell them they're "wasting their life". I've known many a family whose relationships have become strained due to parents being ignorant of their child's interests and forcing an antiquated value system onto them.

    Thank you for sharing my Instructable on LifeHacker! Very cool to see my work here!

    I feel like I need to address something. My child and I are very close, and she HELPED me develop this system. This is not something that I forced on her, life is a system of balancing our wants and needs. We discussed how we can balance the things she has to do (chores) with what she wants to do (games/TV) in a way that is fun.

    By limiting the amount of time she is in front of a screen, she now fills the rest of her "down time" playing outside, reading, or making art projects.

    We don't feel there is any negative reinforcement in the system. You want to sit and watch cartoons or play a game, then earn it! Once you have, go ahead and enjoy! Do I personally feel TV is a waste of time? No. I don't. I do however believe that kids need to be taught moderation and that responsibilities come first, before play. Since we have adopted this system, we have not had one single argument over chores or game time. Not one.

    I'm not saying this is the answer for everyone, I was just sharing what worked with my 10 year old.

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