Genius app to make your children enjoy chores

If your kids are refusing to do their chores, you really need to download the OurHome app. Jo Abi swears by it. It helps her make her kids want to help out.

Mamamia Writer Jo Abi has discovered a genius app that will make your kids WANT to do their chores. Yes, you heard that right.

“When it comes to bribing kids to do chores, there's a right way, and there's a wrong way. The right way is the bribery with a dash of encouragement in the form of:

Come on kids, let's sort out all our toys so we have room to buy new ones!

As opposed to bribery with a more urgent undertone, like:

I'll give $50 to the first one of you who brushes their teeth and gets into bed!

(I was probably a bit tired that night).

It's the money element around chores that makes so many families uncomfortable. The idea that your children are treated like reluctant employees who have to earn every single dollar you send their way.

Also there's the old argument that children should help out around the home without having to be paid for it because they are members of the household and therefore should contribute.

So what is a bribery-loving parent to do?

Like most life dilemmas there's an app for that.

Many apps, actually. From OurHome, to Chore Checklist and ChoreMonster, you can sync up as a family and play it like a game.

Practically Pokemon Go.

I chose OurHome because I liked the picture they used (yes, I am often easily impressed). I installed it on my phone to set up the master account and then set it up on my kids phones and devices so we were all synched up as a family. Then I was able to list different chores for each of my kids aged 12, 8 and 7.

The chores I've assigned to Philip, 12 are very different to those I've assigned to my son Giovanni, 8 who has autism and then Caterina, 7 who wouldn't, for example, be able to wash the dog.

I then decide on the value of each chore and assign it a number of points which the kids save up and use. They can either save up 50 points and get to choose dinner as a reward, save up 100 points to choose an experience like seeing a movie or going bowling, or save up 200 points to go to the shops and buy something to whatever value I've chosen.

GENIUS.

It doesn't have to involve physical money if you don't want it to, although once your children are old enough to learn about money, they will inherently begin to understand it's value.

Homework, a necessary evil for parents, is an item you can include too. I included it on my son Giovanni's list of chores due to his autism. His list of chores is very different from those of his older brother and younger sister because his challenges are so unique. Rewards and encouragement are key to his progress.

So he'll earn 20 points for sitting down and doing his homework in a timely manner, not after I've begged and pleaded for an hour only to give up and send him to bed, writing yet another note to his teacher explaining why Giovanni hasn't even attempted his homework.

Win.

So now, I have three willing and able little slaves ready to do a few jobs around the house to earn rewards and if there is something they particularly want to eat, do or buy, they are even more motivated.

Each time they do one of their assigned chores they simply tick them off and I am notified on my master account that the chore has been done.

I confirm its completion, and they see points pop up on their end.

FUN.

It's a win-win as far as I am concerned and I highly encourage you to try it to train your own little tribe of willing helpers.”

Listen to the full episode of The Parent Code with host Jo Abi and special guest, teacher and mother to "The Twins" at Mamamia, Anne Stephens.

To subscribe to The Parent Code in iTunes go to apple.co/mamamia where you'll find all of our shows in one place and any books written by the many Mamamia guests.

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