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Paying for chores

Sometimes the best parenting advice comes from others in the same boat. SheKnows welcomes Ann Silberman, mother of two and stepmother of two, who shares some advice to get you through the trials of motherhood.

Your question

Should I pay my children for their regular chores, or only ones that are “above and beyond” the usual? Which is better to teach them the value of money?

Ann answers

Opinions differ on this, but I don’t believe in paying children for regular chores. My philosophy is that it takes the entire family to make a household run smoothly, and each person has to do their part for the good of the whole. While it’s important to teach children the value of money, it’s more important to teach them the value of a family working together to accomplish a goal that benefits all.

For example, Daddy goes to work to bring home money, so mom can shop and cook dinner. One kid sets the table so the family can all eat the dinner together and then one cleans up afterwards so the house looks nice when they are done. It’s all part of family cohesiveness, and I believe that doing their part teaches children that they are integral and necessary to making sure the family runs smoothly. It gives them a sense of being important, even though they may complain. When you add money into the mix, it takes away from that feeling. By all means though, pay your children for things above and beyond what it takes to make the house run. It is important that children learn to manage money, and that can be accomplished independent of regular chores. Children should have the opportunity to earn extra for the things they want, and their first opportunity to work for money is within your home.

You may want to give extra money for washing and vacuuming the car, or washing the dog, or organizing the bookshelves by author. Make sure, though, when you choose an extra chore for pay, that it is not something that will eventually be one of their regular chores as they grow.

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