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Should We Pay Our Kids To Do Chores?

I don't know about other families but usually, children are told to do chores so that they can help out their parents at home, and this is done without compensation. Children do it because it would be the least that they could do for their parents, and they don't really need to be coaxed into doing it, do they?

In America, it seems the mindset is different. Children are motivated to do their chores in order to get allowance. However, in the long-term this may have the opposite effect and may even be counterproductive.

Joe Pinsker writes about the opinions of various experts who say that tying chores to allowance may be detrimental to children's motivation for helping out:

A range of experts I consulted expressed concern that tying allowance very closely to chores, whatever its apparent short-term effectiveness, can send kids unintentionally counterproductive messages about family, community, and personal responsibility. In fact, the way chores work in many households worldwide points to another way, in which kids get involved earlier, feel better about their contributions, and don’t need money as an enticement.
Suniya Luthar, a psychologist at Arizona State University who studies families, is skeptical of the idea of paying kids on a per-chore basis. “How sustainable is it if you’re going to pay a child a dime for each time he picks up his clothes off the floor?” she says. “What are you saying—that you’re owed something for taking care of your stuff?”

What do you think about this approach?

(Image credit: Catt Liu/Unsplash)


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Funny enough, one of the families I know well and have seen problems with 5 out of 5 children being on welfare at some point as adults (and most having drug problems at one point), had parents with rather strict rules of money for chores and virtually no free gifts. E.g. "big" gifts were of the form, "You now have the privilege of joining us for this weekend activity, but you still have to pay for yourself." But I guess that is the nature of anecdotal experiences.

I honestly haven't seen any data on how chore & allowance structure affects chances of welfare usage and debt one way or another. Although I have seen other work that shows that there is a strong correlation between those outcomes and answers to questions like, "In an emergency, do you know anyone that can loan you $100?"
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Some friend's kids were showing me a bank card app where they get an allowance. They get extra currency just by checking boxes that say cleaned room and made bed. I think I hurt my head rolling eyes so hard.
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I started giving my kids an allowance at around age 7, and they had been helping with housework for years by then. I don't get paid for cleaning up, why should they? Now they are adults, and they still help me clean up. And they handle their own money pretty well.
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Kids in our family are expected to contribute to the household with effort. We parents are not valets nor servants, we are all part of a team and make proportionate contributions.

The kids do get an allowance, but it is not tied to the chores. My willingness to drive them to friends' houses or hockey practice is tied to the chores, however.
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Wen I was a kid (in the 60's) in a family of 5 kids, we all had weekly chores to do, mostly on Saturday morning, for that we would be rewarded with 2 bucks each, which was a pretty good amount back then. It instilled a proper work ethic at a young age for all of us . . . no chores done, no pay . . simple as that. It also taught me about saving money as I would save parts of my allowance to buy model kits, firecrackers and other crap I wanted that my parents would never buy. I had to save for weeks and weeks sometimes for a kit I wanted, or decided on a different one. I would even look to do chores for neighbors, cut grass, shovel snow etc (they would pay more too!) As an adult I have used that method to buy the things I want, and the banks and Visa must hate me as I have had no debt (except a mortgage, now paid off), and lots of money saved up. I can attest to the reward for work system is the way to go, and if you don't do that?.. and just make your kids work for the joy of helping out . .well . . you might be living in a commune, opening the door for them to leech off the system, because they feel that work doesn't get you anywhere, relying on random cash handouts instead . . and looking at my siblings, I have 0 out of 5 welfare leeches, we have all done alright.. . Ya you should just pay your kids to do chores, by not doing so doesn't bode well for their future in my opinion.
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