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14 August 2012

Chores and Pay.

Bill and I have been discussing chores recently.  Tyler is six now, perfectly capable of any number of chores, but the bigger question is....

  • Do you pay kids for chores? 
  • Do you give your kids an allowance?

Initially we considered making a chore chart and paying him $.25 a chore, or up to $5.00 a week.  But the thought of keeping track of all this makes me insane!  I have a lot on my plate as it is, and to consider adding "chore chart keeper tracker" to the list is a bit much.

I've googled "Chore Charts" and found a plethora of creative charts to hang on the fridge, or ideas on what chores are appropriate for a six year old (common sense, yes.  I don't trust my kid to vacuum the floor without losing many valuable things and possibly a dog.)  Then I received an email from a friend, totally random, which brought up the topic of paying children for chores.  The following is the email that I received that threw a wrench on my plans...

"Kids should not be paid to do their chores. Despite what some children believe, we are not involved in a sinister conspiracy to enslave the youth of America! We just know that kids are happier and more successful when they contribute without receiving constant compensation.

Some questions for you…

What's going to leave your kids feeling better about themselves and their family?
Will they enjoy the greatest self-esteem and sense of family loyalty if they think, "I do these things because I’m a loved, appreciated, and needed member of this team"? Or will it be better if they think, "I do these things because I get five bucks"?

What do you want them to believe about relationships?
Will they enjoy happier and more fulfilling relationships if they're focused on selflessly helping others, or will they enjoy more contentment if they're always asking themselves, "What's this person done for me lately"?

How would you like them to do in school?
Do you hope they'll be internally motivated by the good feelings associated with accomplishment? Or do you wish them to become dependent upon constant external rewards?

What sort of work ethic do you want them to have?
Do you want them to believe that it's their job to do whatever it takes, or would it be better if they spent most of their time grumbling, "They don't pay me enough to do that. That's not my job"?"

When I think about this article I start to ask myself other questions.  Do I want my kids to learn how to earn money?  Yes.  Do I want them to learn to save money? Yes.  Do I want help around the house?... Duh.  Do I want him to have a work ethic?  BIG YES.  Our kids will NOT be part of the entitlement generation.  Not under our roof.  Do I ever want to hear them say " You don't pay me enough for that" or "That's not my job?"  I would seriously flip if I heard that.  I hear that ALL.DAY.LONG at my job, with ADULTS.  

Honestly, do I ever feel "loved, appreciated and a member of the team" as stated above at my job... yeah.... not so much.  I come in, do my job and J-E-T as soon as my time is up.  I'd much rather be at home with my kids, but I'm here.

So, a little back story... I started "working" when I was 12 for my great aunt and my grandma.  I started out by cleaning their dental lab and I received "x" amount per week.  As I got older, I was able to take on more responsibilities and with that came more pay until I graduated high school, started college and a career of my own.  I will never forget the lessons that they have taught me, and how hard work really does pay off.  At home with my parents, I did not get paid for chores.  They were part of living under my parents roof, and it was expected.  My point?  I wasn't paid to do the things that were expected at home, but I was paid for the work I did at the lab.  My question?  Can I translate something like that into my home life with my own children?

Bottom line is this: There will be chores at our house.  Will I make a chart of them?!  Probably not.  Charts are a little baby-ish to him at this point.  It would be more for myself...  Will I pay him for daily duties, for example; making his bed or cleaning his room?  No.  Do I want him to earn an allowance?  Yes.  I definitely want him to learn to save money in the bank, and to save for things that are important to him.  Am I confusing myself beyond reason... probably.  But that's what I'm good at.  I'm a woman and I like to make things WAY more complicated than they need to be.  UGH.

So... anyone out there have any thoughts or suggestions?  What do you do with your kids?  I need something outside the box!

xo,
Karen

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