As my children help with chores around the house, should I reward them for the work done or give an allowance instead?
Ask ten parents this question and you will likely receive ten different answers. Ask one parent at ten different times in his or her children’s life and you will likely receive different answers as well. Enter the words, “Should I pay my child to do chores?” into a search engine and many discussions of allowances will come up as well.
We actually don’t have a horse in this race. We think the important thing is to realize that whatever decisions about finances you make teaches your children some moral message so it is worth your while trying to focus on what messages about family, work and money you want to convey to your child. In our opinion, these should include:
- Every member of a family contributes to the functioning and success of that group. Parents and children both fulfill responsibilities because that is what people in a loving group do. Depending on the children’s ages, make sure they understand that parents don’t just get to do whatever they want either. Everyone plays a role. The reward is intrinsic. Normal cooperation in keeping the house running, cleaning up after oneself and helping other members of the family are standard and expected behaviors. In the Lord’s language the word for ‘family’ actually means ‘we each serve one another.’ (more…)