There is a parenting debate about whether you should teach your children that they should do chores simply because they are a member of the household or if they should get compensation or paid for doing chores. If you go one way, your child might think that they are entitled to receiving a certain amount of spending money regardless of their contributions to the house. If you go the other way, your child thinks that they should be paid for everything they do and don’t learn that they have obligations and duties as a member of a household.
After considering both sides of this issue, I think that allowances should be contingent on work performed for these reasons:
- Children should learn that you need to earn money. That it comes with hard work and dedication. That it takes effort to work, earn, and save enough money to purchase what you want. Yes, they should do things as a member of the family, but it is also useful to show them that they can earn some rewards for their efforts.
- Children learn how to manage the money they earn.
To test my theory (although I won’t be able to judge for sure if this works until my children are adults with savings accounts), I’ve decided to implement a chore chart for my four-year-old son, Jonas, to use. My middle child is quite three years old; so, this really hasn’t made any sense to him, but Jonas is VERY excited by this idea.
We printed out a chore chart from Simplemom.net, cut out the chores, and pasted them on. Then, Jonas happily performed a variety of the chores in exchange for a check mark in the box (which he was allowed to make as well). Each check mark could be exchanged for a nickel or 5 minutes of playing a video game or computer game (redeemable only only on certain days and in specific quantities – e.g. 30 minutes).
The chore chart is working lovely so far. Jonas is excited to do his chores – even asks to do them! He happily marks his sheet and waits anxiously for the weekend to redeem them. His first week he traded half for time to play his favorite video game and half for coins he counted into his piggy bank. This week he traded his points in for money to purchase a small toy.
Try it with your child and let me know how it works for you! If you want a chart you can just print out and skip the cutting and pasting, try FlipFlop and Applesauce’s chore chart.