Why you should never pay your child for chores!

When your kids become old enough (and responsible enough) for an allowance, a parent is faced with two choices – should the allowance be handed over unconditionally or should the kids perform some chores in return.

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Akriti came to us with this query. Should she pay her children to help our with chores at home? Will this help them learn the value of money?

Our star contributer Noopur Agarwal advises, “While it’s important to teach children the value of money, it is not right to pay them for doing small things. If you will start paying them for every chore, they will loose their innocence and will become money minded like us grownups!”

This is a line of thought that is generally agreed upon by most parents – and even some financial experts! Finance gurus say that if the kids learn that by working they get paid, on the flip side they will also learn that they can refuse to work on the grounds that they don’t want money! What’s more if they save their “earnings”, they may even realise that they have enough of their allowance to last them for a few days – and hence flat out refuse to do chores!

On the whole there are three major reasons why you should never pay your kids for their chores:

1. It sends the wrong message!
If kids are being paid to complete chores, they will no longer feel the need to do any chores “for free”. What’s more, they will learn to demand payment for any small favour or request. It takes away from the sense of achievement and moral obligation of caring for the home and doing what’s best for the whole family.

2. It could lead to a sense of entitlement!
When a child is paid for her work, she no longer thinks of his family as a cohesive unit – she will start thinking of herself first! Your goal is to foster an environment of family teamwork and not “every man for himself”.

3. They will ask for a raise!
Don’t you start resenting your boss when he doesn’t give you a raise despite how much work he sees you putting in day in and day out? Well now, is that a situation you want happening with your kids? Just imagine: “Mommy, I did more dishes this week than last week – so I deserve more money!” Now isn’t that a situation you want to avoid?

We hope our Mommy advice has helped Akriti find a solution. There are many other ways to present your kids with an allowance, and payment in return for services is not always the right decision!

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We thank the SOS mom who came to Anamika’s rescue: Noopur Agarwal.

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