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Should Kids Get Paid To Do House Chores?

by on 26/08/2013     55 3767

Most, if not all, children do not enjoy doing chores and will find ways to get out of doing chores. Excuses like “I’m just a kid. Why are you expecting me to do an adult’s job?” and “But I already did that yesterday. It’s [sibling’s name]’s turn” are pretty common.


Pay

With many Malaysian urban families being able to afford to hire maids, getting kids to do house chores can be an uphill task. Many parents find it easier to pay their kids to do the chores.

At the same time, they find that it teaches the kids about money. Kids are forever asking you to buy toys, games, books and so on. What can be a better way to teach them money management skills than through chores-based allowance?


Don't Pay

At the same time, there are parents who feel that kids should not be paid to do chores. This group feels that chores-based allowance will only develop a sense of entitlement among the kids. Just imagine your kid keeps bargaining with you when you ask him to do the dishes.
These parents stress that children can still be taught about money management by providing them with weekly or monthly allowances. These allowances should not depend on the amount of chores they complete within that time frame.


The Best of Both

There are no right and wrong in this topic. Both schools of thoughts have their pros and cons. Parents are generally influenced by their own upbringing and from it, will determine whether they want to continue with the same discipline or change.

But whichever side you are on, we do think that it is important to note the reason behind this action of paying or not paying for chores. For many parents, it is to prepare their children for the world and how to function in society.

When that time comes, the children will need to face the reality that nobody will pay them to do their own housework like cleaning up their house or washing up the dishes. However, people will pay them if they are employed to do certain work like preparing food, fixing a broken machine or teaching others.

Hence, we would like to recommend that a middle path be taken. When it comes to personally-related chores like cleaning up their own rooms and family-related chores like sweeping the floor and clearing the table after meals, kids should be taught to do them without expecting to be paid. On the other hand, when the children perform chores that are “beyond their call of duty” like washing their parent’s car, they should be able to earn some money.

Jamilah Samian, who is a certified professional trainer and also the author of “Cool Mum Super Dad” and “Cool Boys Super Sons”, agrees. She shares that when her boys complete housework that are expected from them, like cleaning their rooms, no allowance were given. However, when the kids did something extra, like teaching other young children, then some reward will be given.


Encouraging Children To Do House Chores

We understand that it is not easy to get children to do the house chores. Here are some tips on how to motivate them without relying on monetary rewards:


1. Don’t force – Children learn and accept things at their own pace. Teach your young ones when they show interest in the chores that you are doing. Show them how it’s done but don’t force them to complete the chores if they don’t want to.

 

2. Keep encouraging – Children wants encouragements. When you child is struggling with a chore, encourage her. “You are doing great”. When your child has completed a chore, praise her. “You did great!”

 

3. Don’t expect perfection – They are children after all. They make mistakes and sometimes, you may end up with more mess to clean. Be patient and keep calm. They are watching your reactions.

 

4. Assign chores according to child’s age – Chores should be appropriate for the child’s age and not too difficult. For instance, a 4-year-old is responsible for putting away all his toys after he has finished playing with them while his 10 year old elder sister can help do the laundry.

 

Housework is essentially a part of our lives. Thus, we shouldn’t have to pay our children to do something that they will not be paid to do in future. Not only are we not teaching our children self-discipline, we are also sending the message that house chores should be motivated by money. Having said that, it is perfectly fine and even encouraged, that you give your children some reward when they perform additional chores.