No More Chore Wars

How to end the bickering and nagging, and motivate your ADHD child to finish his boring-but-oh-so-important chores.

What Is Behavior Modification?

Rewards by age

A reward is something special that your child would not otherwise receive. And remember, rewards cannot be taken away once they are earned! A few ideas...

  • Play date
  • Sleepover
  • Later bedtime
  • Special alone time with parent
  • Out for ice cream and/or dinner
  • Movie with a friend
  • Trip to the dollar store
  • Coloring books
  • DVD
  • Gift cards
  • Clothing
  • Indoor rock climbing
  • Manicure or pedicure
  • Sports event
  • Extra computer time
  • Books
  • Magazine subscription


1. Create and post a chore list for your child
2. Model good behavior for your child
3. Select types of tokens ( i.e. chips, marbles)
4. Choose rewards to motivate your child
5. Visually post rewards menu
6. Set deadlines for each chore
7. Create a contract that both you and your child sign
8. Expect resistance 10. Be consistent and follow through on promises


1. Change the plan and confuse your child
2. Give in to inappropriate behaviors
3. Shout to your child from another room
4. Take away earned tokens or rewards
5. Lose your temper
6. Give in to avoid conflict
7. Make rewards too hard to earn in the beginning
8. Delay in giving your child immediate feedback

Chores for Younger Children with Your Help in the Beginning

  • Make bed
  • Pick up toys and books
  • Sort laundry in to light and dark baskets
  • Feed pets
  • Wipe up messes
  • Dust
  • Water plants
  • Set the table
  • Clear off table and load dishwasher
  • Rake leaves and pull out weeds
  • Put away groceries
  • Rake and bag leaves

Chores for Teens

  • Mow lawn
  • Wash car
  • Shovel snow
  • Fold clean clothes and put away
  • Do own laundry
  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Wash windows
  • Iron
  • Clean room
  • Light home maintenance, painting, paint deck, etc…

Children--especially those with ADHD--do best when they have predictable routines to follow. Claim your free digital copy of A Routine That Works for an example. Plus, get email updates with more great ADHD parenting tips.

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Linda Karanzalis, M.S., is an adult with ADD/ADHD, a learning specialist, the founder of ADDvantages Learning Center, and an ADD/ADHD coach who specializes in helping both children and adults with ADD/ADHD and learning disabilities to reach their potential.

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TAGS: Behavior in ADHD Kids, Behavior Therapy for ADHD

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