I have heard from a lot of parents who wonder, should you pay your kids for chores? The answer that I always like to give is yes and no. It will depend on you and your child because not everything works the same for each family.
I want to give some pros and cons for paying and not paying your child an allowance for chores so that you can make the decision about what will work best for you.
I personally don’t think a child should get an allowance for doing absolutely nothing. Some families do this but it’s not for us.
Giving a child an allowance does help them learn how to handle money but it has been shown that children who get an allowance without having to do chores have a poorer work ethic when they are adults.
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Should you Pay your Kids for Chores?
In my family everyone has their everyday chores that they are required to do. These chores are not paid. I believe that as a member of the family, you need to contribute to help keep the house running smoothly. It all shouldn’t be on one person’s shoulder’s.
Everyday chores can be things like: making the bed, clearing the table, feeding the pet, and picking up toys/their room.
Having said that, I do want my child to understand the value of a dollar and that you have to earn money, it isn’t just given to you.
Special Paid for Tasks
We don’t pay for everyday chores, but we will offer some special chores that she can earn money for. These tasks can be things like: raking the yard, shoveling snow, giving the dog a bath, helping clean out the attic, washing the car, etc.
The tasks you pay for will depend on the age of your child and what they are capable of doing.
You can get a fun chore chart or just hang up some special chores that need to be done along with the price that will be paid for each task.
It’s best to hang up new tasks on the weekend or during the summer when the kids don’t have school.
Teach them about Finances
I think it is so important to teach children about finances, even at a young age. My daughter is five and when she does a special chore, she knows she can earn money to save for something that she really wants.
By earning her own money, she is learning a good work ethic and being grateful for what she has. She is also very proud of herself when she can pay for something with her own money.
It’s a good idea to sit and talk with your child about their money instead of just giving it to them. Get them a fun piggy bank with different compartments for saving, spending, and donating ( or investing). They can learn how to handle money from an early age.
How Much Allowance Should I Give my Child?
If you are going to be doing a weekly allowance, the average rate is $1 for every year of the child’s age. A 5 year old would get $5 a week, a 10 year old would get $10, and so on.
This isn’t set in stone, give what you think is appropriate for the chores they are doing. This will also depend on your financial situation.
As far as the special tasks go, it will depend on what you think each task is worth. I personally do the following:
- Washing the car: $10
- Giving the dog a bath: $5
- Helping do a yard project: $10
- Mopping the floor: $3
- Mowing the lawn: $5
The value will depend on how big the project is.
Age Appropriate Chores
You may be wondering what chores are age appropriate for your child to do. This also depends on your child. Not everyone is at the same stage or has the same capabilities so do what works best for you.
You may want to supervise the first time they do something to make sure they are able to do the chore.
- put toys and clothes away
- match socks
- fold washcloths
- take plate to the sink when finished
- Feed the pets
- fold towels
- put away clothes
- make the bed
- set the table
- pull weeds
- put away groceries
- do laundry
- peel vegetables
- load dishwasher
- walk the dog
- mop floor
- rake leaves
- shovel snow
- clean the basement or attic.
Should you pay your kids for chores? That is ultimately up to you as a parent. I personally believe that paying for chores allows your child to become financially savvy and instills a good work ethic.
I don’t think they should be paid for every chore as they need to learn that they are a part of a community that works together. It also teaches them to be more responsible.
You don’t want your child to grow up and be the roommate or spouse that never cleans up after themselves or waits for someone else to do things for them.