A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that My Job Chart is a chore-tracking site that adults register their kids for; they'll need to enter their full name, their ZIP code, and a username and password, and then set up an account for each child. Parents can then log in and see a child's job chart. Parents can also receive email or text notifications when daily chores are completed or awards are ready to be redeemed. The site has a store link that promotes brands such as Sesame Street, Food Network, and others, as well as a paid online course for older kids.
What's it about?
Founded by a father of six who wanted to teach his kids money management and responsibility, MY JOB CHART helps kids track chore completion -- and their allowance money. Kids log in to see their chores for the day (or week, or other frequency), which range from brushing their teeth to loading the dishwasher. Parents can also enter customized tasks. Completing each activity earns kids points; one point translates into one penny in the real world. Kids can opt to save, spend their earnings on various rewards, or donate them to charity.
Is it any good?
The site could use a bit more information about how the overall process works; it can, for example, be a little confusing at first to determine how the money aspect works -- but registering to use the site is fairly easy. To help you get started, the site suggests chores and also offers some customization elements that let you add specific tasks and point values. My Job Chart has some nifty features. Grandparents and other family members can participate and match a percentage of what the child is saving. The site makes it generally easy for kids to keep track of what they need to do, and when they complete all assigned chores, thunderous applause rings out, offering some fun positive reinforcement.
The site doesn't fully automate all aspects of the allowance process; you'll receive a notification when it's time to save, spend, or donate some of your child's earnings and will need to help your child save money in a bank account or give some to charity. If kids plan on spending some of their cash, you can also choose products on Amazon as rewards, which some parents may not be comfortable with. The site does provide plenty of free reward suggestions, such as a bedtime story or TV time. And its philanthropic option provides a nice balance: Being able to donate a portion of their allowance money to a charity can help kids make giving back a habit early in life.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about completing chores when you have a lot of things to do. How do you decide which thing to do first? How can you make sure you get everything done in a certain amount of time?
Talking about chores can be a good way to start a discussion about work-life balance: getting things done that need to be done and carving out recreational time. Ask your child to estimate how many hours a day should be for fun and how many should involve responsibilities.
Use the site to examine your child's spending over time and talk about how to allot allowance money for the future. Your child may be used to saving up for one item at a time, so can you create a spending plan for several weeks or months together?