Parents Who Don't Reward Kids for Chores Are Setting Them Up for Failure

Mom Moment 86

chore chartHey moms, have you heard about the new app that promises to make your kids "beg" to do chores? That's right, it's called -- um, look, you're really gonna need to stop laughing if you want me to tell you more. Can you stop that, please?

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, so this app is called "Choremonster," and it's basically the smartphone generation's take on Ye Olde Sticker Chart (you know, those things you put stickers on every time your kid washes the dishes or whatever and then when the chart's all filled up and/or you run out of stickers they get a prize?).

Now, some parents have a problem with this idea because they think rewarding kids for doing stuff around the house they should be doing anyway sends the wrong message. That they'll grow up spoiled and entitled and lazy. That they won't lift a finger unless some sort of compensation is involved.

And you know what? Why should they?

Look, I'm not gonna buy this particular app because I know damn well NOTHING would ever make my kids "beg" to clean their rooms, and I don't do sticker charts because, quite frankly, they sound like a pain in the ass. But if my son picks up his Star Wars guys off the floor and puts them away every day this week like he promised, I'll give him a few bucks. Why not?

The fact is, rewarding kids to do chores doesn't send the wrong message, it sends the EXACTLY RIGHT message: Money makes the world go 'round, so you might as well master this whole payment received for services rendered concept now.

You think I'm being cynical? Practical is more like it. Hell, I wish I'd been raised to look at everything as a business opportunity. Paying kids to do chores is like killing two "prepare them for the future" birds with one stone: They learn how to do laundry/make beds/polish furniture AND how to handle their finances!

Plus, kids are just plain better about doing their chores when they know they're getting paid. I mean, obviously. So until Mary Poppins shows up at my house and those Star Wars guys start magically marching their action figure asses into closets, I'll pay my kids.

Do you reward your kids for doing chores?


Image via Mary-Frances Main/Flickr

family, jobs & money, behavior


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Heather Duso Johnson

So you're teaching your kids to do the right thing they will need to be paid?  What about a sense of pride or accomplishment?  Who pays you to clean your house?  We lost priviledges if your chores weren't done and my mom couldn't afford the extra money to randomly give us money for picking up the toys, WE spread around the house.  God forbid kids actually learn responsibility and how to take care of themselves without being rewarded.  

Jessy Roos

I haven't necessarily come to a decision about whether I will offer allowance based on them getting chores done or not, but I do know one thing: My 18 year old brother in law moved in with us for a summer and came from a house where he wasn't expected to do anything, or if he did he was paid for it and when I asked him to participate in the house, his response was "I pay rent! That means I don't have to do anything else." Of course that argument doesn't make any sense. If all I did was pay rent we would live in squaller without clean clothes or unspoiled food. However you teach your kids to participate in household work, just make sure you teach them.

wjbra... wjbrady2011

I think its a great app

nonmember avatar Mandy

we are still working on a system but we try to incorporate both approaches. There are things that the kids do around the house because they are part of the family. Then there are chores that they can do to earn money.

jalaz77 jalaz77

This is what we do. We have a 6, 4, and 2 yr old. Our oldest helps with things, I am not paying her to keep her room cleaned up, her bed made and things she takes out she needs to put back, that's life. However I do pay her when she goes above and beyond, a few times she has made all the beds in the house, has picked up her brothers toys and helps with laundry. When the kids started crawling we used to say pick up pick up and they knew it was time to put toys away.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Oh I was going to say kids need to learn early how to manage money. So this is one way.

ivego... ivegotrhythm

Absolutely bs. My son has chores because he is a member of this household and is expected to pull his (age appropriate) weight. I am not his maid.

And he learns how to EARN and manage money by raising chickens. He is responsible for their care and the money he gets for eggs is all his (after the chicken feed is paid for) .

Who's going to pay him to clean his apartment in college? What a horrible lesson to teach a child.

Bobbey Martinez

In our home, doing chores is part of your responsibility as part of this family. I might pay my teenager for washing my car every weekend when I didn't ask for it to be done, but I'm not paying him to wash his own dirty dishes and laundry or to feed and take care of his cat.

nonmember avatar Amy

I have to say I don't agree. I do however agree with ivegotrythym. My kids are part of this family and they have to learn how to be responsible and pull their own weight. Their chores are age appropriate and I do not pay them. However If they would like to earn money for chores then they are more then welcome to do extra chores that they can be paid for. They are going to grow up thinking that payment is required for everything. What a horrible thing to teach my kids. I want them to be caring people who do for others without expecting return. I don't want them to grow up thinking all they should care about is money. While money is important and a nessescity to live it isn't everything life is about. We need more compassionate people in this world who don't revolve everything around the money they make and things they have to show for it. Just my opinion.

Meg Moore

i get what they mean..there are something one has to do because you are internally motivated.not externally.

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