Sunday, July 26, 2009

Requests From Our Readers: Week 10

This week we are talking about paying children for chores. In the past we have talked about motivation and praise for children, but this reader request sheds a new light on it. Check it out!

"What do you think about rewarding children for chores? On one hand I feel that children should be expected to do chores, and shouldn't be motivated only by rewards. I fear that by rewarding children for chores, they will be unwilling to help out unless they can receive something from it. Work should be a part of family life. On the other hand, I think it would be a great time to be able to teach children about money and how to save, pay tithing, etc."

So help her out!

What does your family do for chores?
If you don't reward children for chores, how do you motivate them to help?
How do you feel about an allowance?


Fisher Fam said...

I think there are jobs that kids should just do, like making their bed and keeping a clean room (things that will benefit them directly), but others that you can use to teach the value of money and tithing (jobs that will benefit the entire family, not just the child, like dishes or mopping, cleaning bathrooms, whatever you decide as the parent, although you'll get a better outcome if your child is involved in the decision making, if they are old enough). It doesn't need to be a lot of money to reinforce the principles, just make sure to be consistent in what you do. We aren't there yet, my 3 year old has "his jobs" that he is responsible for, picking up toys and putting his clothes into the hamper. I really think it's important to start young giving simple responsibilities - just to get them ready for the bigger ones :)

Maren and Blake said...

I think teaching children about money management is important. Whether they get paid for basic chores or paid for extra chores or just get a weekly allowance, I think it's important for kids to handle money at an early age. Who blows all their money on a toy at the age of 10 is far better off than an adult who has thousands of dollars in debt on a credit card.

We always had our basic chores around the house. One chore for our age. (ex. 5 yrs old, 5 chores) I think the limit was 6 chores though. They were all very basic (make bed, clean room, windex mirrors, etc) and got harder the older we got. We could earn extra money for extra chores, ex. wiping down the baseboards.

Megan said...

My son is to young at the moment to do chores. Although I do include him in picking up toys, even though sometimes more ends up on the floor at the end then we began with! In my family we all had an assigned room on top of our bedrooms that we were responsible for, and it rotated every month. We couldn't earn chore money cleaning those rooms. But, if we were to clean windows, baseboards, or walls, or something that wasn't included on our regular chores, we would get a little money. I also think it is important for children to handle money and learn about saving, tithing, and spending money wisely.

Jared and Delia said...

This is great advice. I was hesitant to comment because I really NEED ideas in this area more than anything. I like the one chore per age idea. As they get older they can do more.

We currently do not give an allowance or pay for chores. He simply gets the privilege of getting fruit snacks and a PBS TV show when he is done doing his morning chores. No chores - no sweat off my back since his chores are just getting dressed, brushing teeth, making bed, and putting breakfast dishes away - but he doesn't get those "treats." The rest of the time we just work in increments. LIke...before dessert you need to clean up your toys, etc. He is four and a half, so I know in a year or two this system is going to have to change. Probably sooner...I don't know really. :)

As for money management we just use money he gets from relatives and birthdays to teach tithing, saving, and spending wisely.

Chris and Laura said...

I had to smile when this showed up as the new husband and I were talking about it just the night before.

I agree that there are chores that should just be done because you are part of the family. That would include taking care of your own space--bedroom, toys, etc.--as well as something bigger that benefits the whole family. Those chores are a part of life, in my opinion.

That said, I think that the only way for children to learn anything about money is to have their own. Talking about money doesn't real mean much, whereas having their own money to mess up with makes for much more meaningful lessons. I am in favor of allowance, even if it's small. When I was a kid, I believe we got one quarter for each year we'd been alive...4 years, $1, 7 years, $1.75. We didn't get the money until our chores were done, but it wasn't necessarily payment for doing the work. Does that make sense?

We didn't get to leave the house until our chores were done. That was the motivation for getting them done. When kids are younger, I think Delia's plan would work better, where they get rewarded for getting it done without having any strict punishment for not finishing.

Anonymous said...

I finally made a job chart for my 2 older kids. I told them that if they did all their chores for a full week we could go do something fun as a family - go to the park, etc. They were totally gung ho about it & when I slack off in printing out a new job chart, they let me know! If you haven't heard of Miracle Music, you might look into that or you can email me at I have a girlfriend who has been really successful with this program & I am trying to get back into the routine of using it!