Kids & Money

How Do I Motivate My Teenager to Work?

Facebook follower Todd asks how he can motivate his 14-year-old son to work and help out with chores and stop playing video games.

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  • NVGreenGirl

    Unplug the game devices and lock them up until daily chores are done. Kids can earn game time just like them earn money. Work with the kid to agree on the time earned for each type of chore and a minimum number of chores to be completed.

  • Leigh Morse Williams

    Rachel-I think you’re right on the mark. I would add that’s it’s also important to have boundaries for anything electronic. If it’s been acceptable to sit in front of a tv, play a video game, or play on a computer for unlimited amounts of time it becomes very easy to think that behavior is ok. In fact, we should all limit our interactions with electronics; everything in moderation right? By freeing up time from these distractions, parents can then build in other, more realistic activities (working, exercising, just plain getting outside, etc).

  • Shelah T

    I completely agree with you, Rachel. At the same time, I can totally relate to Todd.

  • Jill kuczek

    Answers my questions. Thanks Todd fro bringing it up. I too have a 14 yo son who’d rather just play video games… it’s a huge struggle for us.

  • Nancy Nielsen Desmarais

    In our house it was the “Family Speech”. “we are a family, families help each other”, it’s team work. we all did laundry, we all helped with meal prep and dishes afterwards. It was just part of our family culture.

  • My 15 year old daughter works at Mitcham’s Peach Orchard here in Ruston, Louisiana. She is putting 20% of her check in a Roth IRA, 10% to church and keeps 70% for herself. She loves this, it makes her feel empowered and I always tell her that she will be wealthy one day by doing this. It is our responisbility to teach our children how to work and save!

  • judy

    im right with ya Rachel….one thing that also makes it so difficult for me is that my husband will barely do any chores, even outdoor chores that are traditionally so called men’s chores….it has made it so much harder to get my child to do chores as she sees dad refuses most of the time.

  • Linda Spencer

    This summer we having been trying something new that seems to work. Our boys (currently 13, 14, and 14) have always had to do chores just as a part of the family, but they’ve done them grudgingly. The change is that instead of begging them to do the chores we are paying them. We pay in either money or “video” time (movie, wii, game, etc). We pay equal time work:video time (assuming they really do the work the whole time) or $ for the job (not per hour). Additionally, like Rachel said, the boys are required to pay for their own “stuff”. If they want to do activities with friends we cheerfully provide the transportation and time out of our schedule for them to do the activity, but they have to pay for the activity. Additionally they pay for their own sports stuff (balls, equipment, etc). So far, so good. They are working for pay, being more cheerful about it, and being more discerning about what they really want to do since it is their hard earned money going to pay for it. A win/win.nnP.S. We don’t pay for all chores, some chores are just a part of being a family member (washing dishes, keeping their room/bath clean, doing their own laundry, etc).

    • melissa

      This is wonderful!!

  • MonoDJ76

    Can you be my mom?

  • melissa

    Thank you, hard = yes; but real= VERY MUCH so. I gave a 16 yr son who would like to only play xbox/use ipad. We use that ability to motivate. Difficult because we are not always liked for DIS-connecting the devices if he does not make an effort to complete his “list”. …. but we are the parents responsible for teaching …. & I do not want one of my bad dreams to come true of a 30 year old gamer living in my basement with no income!!!

    • melissa

      I have …not I gave… (second sentence).

  • Winter Love Peace

    Tough u2113u03c3u03bdu0454 works, I agree we are doing it for there own benefit.