My to oldest daughters are now at the age (4 &6) that they are starting to have chores. Long gone are the days of leaving a trail of toys and snack crumbs behind them while I chase after. While in theory giving the girls chores is a great way for them to learn about hard work, responsibility, and cooperation. In practice, it has quickly become a power struggle and the topic of motivation quickly became something were were talking about not only together as parents, but with other family members for insight.
Almost immediately, the idea of paying our kids for helping with chores was brought up as a solution. I’ll be honest, I considered it. Who wouldn’t clean there room and put laundry in the basket for cold hard cash? Then it hit me, I would LOVE to be paid for taking care of my home.. but I don’t. So why should my children. I want our kids to understand the value of money and hard work, but I want them to be realistic in their understanding. It is not realistic to get paid for brushing your teeth but it is realistic to brush your teeth so that you can keep them. As members of the household, it is expected that we clean up after ourselves everyday. We are not paid for these things but we are rewarded with free time and the opportunity of experiences during that free time. Failure to clean up after ourselves everyday results in our free time being spent cleaning up yesterday’s messes.
Now, that’s not to say my children will never receive an allowance. I believe weekly allowances are a valuable tool to help teach children about saving, spending, and money management. However, I don’t believe giving children allowance should be chore dependent. The allowance will be received each week ,and if the chores are done daily they will have the aforementioned free time that provides the opportunity to use that money.
Do you give your children allowance or chore money? Let me know what your thoughts are.