Home > Kids > Values and Responsibilities > Chores > Kids, Allowance, and Chores
|

Kids, Allowance, and Chores

Financial Building Blocks

According to the same survey by Zillions, about three-quarters of all allowance recipients (of all ages) were supposed to perform chores to get their allowances.

Some parents give allowances with no requirements on the child's part. Others make performing chores a condition of receipt.

Child experts hotly disagree on whether allowances should be conditioned on performing chores. Each side believes strongly in its position. On the one hand, requiring work for pay prevents a child from believing in entitlement. There's value in doing work and being rewarded for it, and it's good training for getting a job.

On the other hand, others believe that chores should be required just because a child is part of the family. Just as Mom and Dad aren't paid for shopping, cooking, and repairing the broken porch, a child should be required to contribute his time and effort to help with the family work load. Conditioning the receipt of an allowance on performing work can lead to disaster. A child may think that all jobs around the house should be monetarily compensated. A child who continually tries to negotiate and renegotiate his workload and allowance may be in perfect training for a job with a union or the NLRB, but he can cause endless friction on the home front.

Piggybank on It

If you decide to condition an allowance on doing chores, you must be realistic in setting the dollar amounts. There's no lesson in having your child work for sweatshop wages. Keep in mind that the current federal minimum wage is $5.15 an hour.

Obviously, the decision of whether to attach strings to an allowance comes down to what you think best in your family. You may, of course, be influenced by whether you were required to perform chores when you were a child and how you felt about that at the time. Whichever way you come out, make sure that the rules are clear—and be consistent. Think through which alternative you'll use, and then follow through.

There's another string that some parents put on the receipt of an allowance: good behavior. If a kid fights with his brother, breaks a lamp, or talks back, a parent might threaten to dock his allowance for this bad behavior. Some child experts think this type of string isn't a good idea, though: They don't believe it works to create good behavior—it just punishes a child without any benefit. You, of course, must decide on punishment for bad behavior, and you may think that withholding an allowance for a week or a month may be appropriate in certain circumstances.



More on: Money and Kids

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Money-Smart Kids © 1999 by Barbara Weltman. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.