There’s a lot of dispute on whether to pay children for chores, whether to require children to do chores, or whether to offer an allowance that isn’t dependent on chores. Parents have a variety of options to choose from when considering this matter. There are some things to consider in requiring kids to do chores; you aren’t just doing it because you want to be “mean.” Generally you are doing it because not only do the children need to help as part of the family unit, but they also have to learn how to do the basics in chores so they are capable of keeping their homes clean and neat when they set up their own homes.
But should you pay children for chores? Some argue that payment offers incentive to keeps kids doing chores. Instead of having arguments about whether the dog has been fed or the dishes washed, you have a monetary means of proving chores are valuable, and that work is often rewarded with money. When chores aren’t completed, you can merely point to a checklist of required chores, or simply state to the children that they didn’t work and thus didn’t earn their money.
Money can be a powerful incentive, especially for children who don’t get everything they ask for, and for kids old enough to appreciate both the value of earning something and the fun of shopping. Payment for small chores for very young children may not be all that effective. Yet if you pay children for chores, especially if they’re about five years of age or older, they will usually get and understand the correlation between work and pay, and the idea that work has its rewards.
If you would prefer not to institute regular chores, and you don’t offer kids an allowance, you can pay children for chores on a pay by chore basis. This allows kids to earn an allowance if they want. Simply create a chore list, with a standard pay rate for each chore. It’s a great idea to keep a little money aside so children associate doing a chore with near immediate compensation, which can keep them motivated. The pay by chore method works very well when children don’t receive an allowance, because they won’t have ready money at hand to spend on luxuries they might not otherwise get.
Some parents categorically refute that you should pay children for chores. The reasoning here is that the family operates as a unit, and each family member should be contributing (depending upon age and capability) to the running of the household. They may offer kids an allowance, or may not, but they feel that chores are the responsibility of all, and shouldn’t receive compensation. Furthermore, this argument asserts that paying kids for chores is unequal, since parents regularly must do chores to keep the household running and they don’t get paid for it. Also, children may become dependent on a pay system to complete chores, and therefore won’t learn how to be responsible in their own homes when this reward is no longer in place.
It really depends though. As some childcare experts point out, giving children money gives you something to take away in cases of bad behavior. Thus if you pay children for chores, you also have the capacity to fine them if you have to do their chores, or simply not pay them. Some children really seem incapable of doing chores without some reward system in place, and making chores positive through a pay system or a system of other rewards allows kids to generate positive feelings about chores in general. The pay per chore method may further teach kids that harder work is usually met with greater reward.