How are or should allowances and chores connected?
Allowances and chores are highly recommended parenting strategies. Yet, is it wise to connect them?
Kids who do chores learn responsibility and gain important life skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. Indeed, doing chores at an early age is a massive predictor of success in adulthood.
Kids who get an allowance tend to be more financially savvy than those who don’t, scoring higher in tests on pricing and less likely to mistake credit as a limitlss form of currency. Connecting these two concepts together then helps children understand the value of money. But it’s not as easy as that.
Many parenting experts believe that children should help out around the house because it’s the right thing to do, not because they make money at it. Providing a child an allowance is a way of helping them learn about managing money and as part of the family’s contribution TO them. In return kids chores are part of their contribution TO the family.
Yet this is in direct contrast to what parents actually do. In a study by wealth management firm T Rowe Price whilst most parents give allowances and do so increasingly, most link them to chores – They have to earn it.
Many suggest that if you want to pay your children to do extra work around the house – your own work – that’s perfectly fine. Some parents encourage their kids to look for jobs that need to be done and name a price, as a way of encouraging entrepreneurship Research on motivation does however point to the value of cultivating intrinsic motivation rather than relying on outside or external motivators. The idea here is that if chores are tied to money, children learn the lesson that the only reason to do chores is to get paid.
Paying children for chores can run the risk of converting a family obligation into just another commercial transaction—and teaches that the only reason to do a less-than-desirable task for your family is in exchange for payment. There may also be the danger that if children decide they don’t need the reward or that the reward is no longer sufficient, they won’t see any reason to do the work. Whereas, if children learn that they do chores because it’s simply expected of them as part of the household, or being responsible, they’ll be more likely to do them without the reward – theydo them just because its the right thing to do as a member of the family. On the otherhand, household work is just that: work. And doing it for money can introduce work and getting paid for it to children early in a safe environment so they begin to know that money doesn’t grow on trees, that there is no short cut to acquiring it and that it requires discipline.
So what’s the answer? Whilst it’s iup to each family to decide on whats rigtht for them some guidnace is useful. A useful principle to be clear about the distinction between chores and allowances even though they can be combined into a general discusison about contribution and value
Discuss “family contributions” in regard to the things every body has to do to keep the household running smoothly and so that everyone’s doing their bit as a part of the family
Discuss money and how it helps us succeed; We can help our kids build great values around money and entrpreneurship by doing more, looking for additional ways to “add value” Not only will your kids feel grown up to have their own “income,” but it will be a big step in learning real-life skills, discipline and empowerment