Expert Parent Advice

3 Reasons to NOT Pay for Chores

Should parents pay kids for doing household chores?

It only seems fair – after all, you get paid for your job.  Shouldn’t kids get paid to do their jobs around the house?  Not so fast on that one!

I’m Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, and I’m proud to partner with Kids ‘R’ Kids for the Expert Parenting Advice series.  Today, we’re talking about 3 reasons NOT to pay kids for doing chores.

Paying your kids for helping around the house may seem reasonable at first glance, but think about it – you may get paid for your job, but do you get paid for all the laundry, cooking, cleaning and yard work you do?  I don’t think so! 

You do those things because you are part of the family.  It’s part of keeping the family functioning.

If you’ve been paying kids for chores, here are the 3 reasons why you may want to reconsider that:

1.  It sends the wrong message!

Here’s what Daniel Pink, author of The New York Times best seller, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, has to say about the subject:

“(Paying kids for chores) sends kids a clear (and clearly wrong) message: In the absence of a payment, no self-respecting child would willingly set the table, empty the garbage, or make her own bed.  It converts a moral and familial obligation into just another commercial transaction and teaches that the only reason to do a less-than-desirable task for your family is in exchange for payment.” 

Wow, that’s not the message we want to send!  We want kids to contribute because they are important, capable members of our family and everyone has to contribute – toddlers to teens.

2.  It fosters an attitude of entitlement.

When kids get paid to make basic contributions around the house, it reinforces that everything revolves around the child and that his personal needs are more important than the overall needs of the family. 

Our goal is to foster an attitude of family teamwork.  If you live in our house, then everyone contributes.  When we pay kids to help out we undermine teamwork, and we contribute to the entitlement epidemic.

3.  They’re always looking for a raise!

At first, your child may be motivated to do her family jobs for a quarter.  In a few years, she’s demanding a dollar for the same jobs.  Eventually, she has absolutely no interest no matter what you pay.

Don’t worry.  You can still get kids to do their chores without paying them using much more effective Positive Parenting Solutions strategies.

We do want kids to learn the value of money and the importance of saving, giving charitably and wise spending.  However, those important lessons can be taught with an allowance, which isn’t tied to chores.  You’ll learn more about how to structure allowance most effectively in another Kids ‘R’ Kids Expert Parenting Advice video.  

Check out the interactive that accompanies this video for a totally different way to look at chores that will make your kids more cooperative in the process.

For ongoing solutions to your parenting challenges, visit us often at Expert Parenting Advice.

I’m Amy McCready for Kids ‘R’ Kids and I’ll see you next time!