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Should Parents Reward Kids for Good Behavior?

Don't call it bribery, call it creative negotiation

Chris Oritz Staff Reporter
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Apps Mentioned in Video

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These are all teachable moments for the parents.
- Priya Rajendran, co-founder of S’moresUp


It seems the only thing longer than kids' homework these days in their list of chores.

From messy rooms to unloading the dishwasher, it can be a daunting challenge to get kids to pitch in around the house. While some might call it bribery, there are tools that can incentive kids to do those pesky chores.

But don't feel bad for paying your kids to do chores, I mean, you wouldn't go to work without a paycheck, right?

Never Too Young to Learn About the Benjamins

Parents should start teaching their kids good financial habits, which includes an allowance, starting around the age of 5, according to a guide for parents published by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), a nonprofit focused on financial literacy.

As kids enter the preteen years, the NEFE guide encourages parents to explain budgeting to kids, including basic investing.

RoosterMoney is an app that’s easy for parents and fun for kids to set goals and track chores. The app helps parents set incentives for kids to complete chores and tasks around the house. RoosterMoney lets parents set up profiles for each kid. There is a free version as well as a paid version of the app. The $2.99 a month version allows parents to access chore chart features and create profiles for each child.

The app shows how much each chore is worth and what kids have spent their money on, from headphones to Xbox games.

Instead of 10 Apps, What About 1 Really Good One?

S’MoresUp is another app that can help parents get that chore list done.

Kids get points for completing chores that they can use for rewards. The currency inside the app can be converted into cash.

Priya Rajendran, the co-founder of S’moresUp, said she got the original idea for the app after getting recommendations for 10 different apps to solve the problem of family management for modern families. To develop the app, Rajendran surveyed hundreds of parents, researched parent philosophies and researched studies to help understand the problems of modern-day parents.

“We have this concept of 3 jars in our app for the kids on how they can use the S’mores they earn by doing chores,” Rajendran said. “They can spend (on rewards), save (for goals) or share (with their siblings or for a cause they believe in).”

She said apps like S’moresUp is a great way to teach kids money-management skills.

“Goal teaches kids to save,” she said. “In simple terms, goals are bigger rewards, which take a lot of saving to get and teaches things like money management and delayed gratification.

“So when a kid wants to spend on a reward, they have to make a decision on whether they want that or they want to save to achieve their goals faster. Also sometimes when you saved for like 6 months to get to a goal, and when the time comes to redeem the goal, your kid might change their mind to get something else. These are all teachable moments for the parents.”

Usage is Up Since the Pandemic 

Since the COVID-19 quarantine, parents have been turning more to apps like S’moresUp to help manage kids who are stuck at home.

“We have seen the usage going up the past few weeks and also more families onboarding to the app,” said Rajendran. “We got featured in the Apple App Store on their ‘Parenting Essentials’ story and we have been on their ‘Apps we currently love’ list the past couple of weeks.”

Kit Seedly is a caregiver and live-in aunt of one autistic child and their sibling, who uses S’moresUp to help her kids with chores.

“I can say without a doubt that this app has helped make our lives a bit simpler,” said Seedly. “We can add chores and points for various activities for the kids. We can reward them with badges and bonus points. We can set them on a routine schedule by setting the times on items they are supposed to do and teach them both responsibility skills and monetary skills.”

Any Help is Useful During These Challenging Times 

Another app that can help wrangle parents while under quarantine is OurHome, another useful app that helps parents manage tasks and events. OurHome helps parents stay organized with less effort.

Parents can create tasks for taking care of pets, studying, exercise, and even creativity and spirituality.

And for larger families, OurHome can make tasks on a rotating schedule so the middle child isn’t always stuck with feeding the dog. Points can be traded in exchange for rewards, which parents can create and add in the rewards tab on the app.

No matter what app parents choose, it’s always helpful to have additional resources to help manage kids and household chores during these challenging times. 


Apps Mentioned in Article

Click on an app to see more details
  • A pocket money manager, chore chart, rewards and saving app for kids

    4.7 Ratings 3K+ Reviews 100K+ Downloads

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  • Your Partner in Smart Parenting!

    3.8 Ratings 583 Reviews 100K+ Downloads

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  • OurHome is your home, made easy.

    3.7 Ratings 4K+ Reviews 500K+ Downloads

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About the Writer

Chris Oritz

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