It’s hard to argue against the benefits of giving kids chores. But the opinion wars about whether to reward them for it rage on. Here, experts on both sides discuss whether money should ever be on the table…you know, the one you asked your six-year-old to clear an hour ago.
Parenting Debate: Should You Pay Your Kids for Doing Chores?
No Way, Don’t Pay
The consensus from parenting experts is that chores and allowances should be totally separate. Why? 1) A kid may decide she doesn’t need the money, and thus see no point in doing the work. 2) Receiving an allowance teaches kids how to manage their money, and the difference between wants and needs; it has nothing to do with meeting their inherent obligations to the family. Chores, in other words, are not above and beyond; they’re what’s expected. As New York Times personal finance columnist and author of The Opposite of Spoiled Ron Lieber puts it, parents don’t get paid for family housework, [so] neither should kids. Money-Smart Kids author Gail Vaz-Oxlade agrees: “I define an allowance as the money you would normally spend on your children put into their hands so they can learn to manage it.” Lieber’s caveat? “No bailouts” if they blow their monthly budget on a Hatchimal but then need a new backpack. That’s the teachable moment.
Earning = Learning
Research psychologist Dr. Denise Cummins worries no-strings-