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#1 of 38 Old 06-03-2013, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you give your child money for doing chores around the house?

 

I go back and forth on whether this is a good idea or not. Some people say that kids should do chores as part of being part of the family and that they shouldn't be paid.  I know for my D14, money is the most effective method for motivating her to do her chores.

 

For my eldest, who is 14, I set up a system.  She has a jar with 6 buttons in it.  Each button represents a dollar.   She is supposed to do the dishes every day.  Whenever she fails to do them, a button is removed from the jar.  At the end of the week, I count up how many buttons are left in the jar and that's how much money she gets for the week.

 

So you do think it's a good idea to pay children to do chores?  Why or why not?


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#2 of 38 Old 06-03-2013, 05:07 PM
 
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I don't think any one method is better than another. Kids are different. Parents are different. What works in any family is, well, different.

 

Personally, I don't like to pay for chores. I do feel they are part of family life. However, e made an attempt to attach allowance to room cleaning out of desperation at one point (and I'll add that DD's room has the only downstairs emergency exit so it's not unreasonable for us to require she leave a clear path out.) As it turned out though, my kids didn't care enough about money. In fact, even when we ditched the pay for chore idea, we couldn't even remember allowance on a consistent basis and we gave that up too.

 

Do what feels comfortable. Sometimes incentives are a good short-term way to change behavior. Maybe it'll work with you!


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#3 of 38 Old 06-03-2013, 09:47 PM
 
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I went with the chores are part of living in a family, and they could either pitch in and we'd have time to do stuff together, or they cojld leave it to me and we wouldn't have that time. BUT... extra stuff? I was more than happy to compensate for. Still am. 

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#4 of 38 Old 06-03-2013, 11:32 PM
 
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Chores are just part of life for my DD. She does get an allowance and if she wants to earn extra money I help her find ways with chores that she isn't required to do. She has rarely been motivated by money so it isn't effective for her and I think it is important to learn some household skills whether you want to or not.
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#5 of 38 Old 06-04-2013, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, I was just curious as to someone's reasons why they would not pay for doing chores, and the reasons makes sense to me.  When you live on your own, you don't get paid to clean your home, LOL.
 

There are some chores that both of my daughter have to do each week, and technically money is not tied to their completion.  I guess I do a hybrid of sorts. smile.gif

 

One girl - does your daughter do anything to earn her allowance or does she just get a set amount each week?


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#6 of 38 Old 06-04-2013, 07:55 AM
 
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So you do think it's a good idea to pay children to do chores?  Why or why not?

 

I think it is neutral. I think it is fine to pay for chores, and equally fine not to. It really just comes down to what works for your kids/family.

 

the way it played out for us....

 

When my kids were little I read the exact same thing about how kids should help because they are part of the family,and that worked fine for a long time. In the teen years, however, that no longer worked. My kids don't think it is fun to clean with me anymore (in spite of the perky music and my positive attitude) and really wouldn't mind living in filth.

 

So I pay them, which makes both them and me happy. (they are happy because they get money, and I'm happy because the house is decent place to live without nagging on my part)


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#7 of 38 Old 06-04-2013, 08:21 AM
 
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I give her two dollars a week, it used to be one and I will raise it if I ever need to.
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#8 of 38 Old 06-04-2013, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I pay them, which makes both them and me happy. (they are happy because they get money, and I'm happy because the house is decent place to live without nagging on my part)

 

And you don't feel guilty or worry they'll become entitled?  Or that they'll start to expect to be paid for everything or will only do something if they're paid to do it?  That's what I worry about.


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#9 of 38 Old 06-04-2013, 12:40 PM
 
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And you don't feel guilty or worry they'll become entitled?  Or that they'll start to expect to be paid for everything or will only do something if they're paid to do it?  That's what I worry about.


no, I don't worry about it.

 

My kids are both pretty awesome. They are hard workers. They take their educations very seriously and study hard, challenging themselves beyond what they have to do. They do community service. The take care of and love on our pets. One of my DD does a lot of work in the garden. Both my DDs cook yummy things for our whole family.  And they don't paid or rewarded for ANY of this.

 

However, they are both naturally slobs and don't mind trash, dirty dishes, and dirty clothes laying around. They would never feel the need to vacuum, dust, or shine a mirror. So I pay them for those things. shrug.gif

 

I used to worry a lot about all my parenting choices and second guess everything, but I've let it go. It helps that they are nearly grown and are turning out to be decent people.

 

I'm not so big on guilt. Why would I feel guilty? Guilt is a useful emotion only if it inspires us to avoid behavior that hurts ourselves or others. Linking work to money isn't hurtful, it's just how life is. Most people do work and then get paid for it. Nothing wrong with that.

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#10 of 38 Old 06-04-2013, 07:45 PM
 
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My mom tried this.  But when I hit 14 I was pulling in a TON of money babysitting and her $5 a week was a joke.  So I stopped doing chores :)  (what a little jerk I was!!)

 

So no way, I won't pay for chores (heck, my 12 year old makes $15 for an hour and a half of work right now.)  You do chores because you live here.  Full stop.  I give you money because I like you and want you to be able to have crap. 

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#11 of 38 Old 06-04-2013, 10:47 PM
 
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No.. no money for chores. Everyone who lives here pitches in except the cat! Each child has a set of responsibilities that are done daily or weekly depending on need. They also are expected to come running if I need them.. "all hands on deck!".


An allowance for our family is a lesson in saving or spending. My kids have done some of both over the years. I also just plain old believe in " a little walking around" money. I love to have a few dollars in my pocket, why wouldn't my kids? Especially once they reach the age of some independence.
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#12 of 38 Old 06-05-2013, 04:09 AM
 
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We don't pay for routine chores such as dishes, cleaning up the kitchen, vacuuming, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow etc. For similar reasons stated above, we don't connect allowance to chores. Although, I confess I have wondered whether it would make a difference in how often they get done without a little prompting from me. 

 

We have paid for out-of-the-ordinary, big jobs. Also, when they were younger and unable to work part-time jobs, it was sometimes a way to supplement their earning power by giving them a chance to earn some money for doing a big yard clean-up or something like that. Usually, they were trying to save for an expensive item and relying on birthday money and allowance was going to take a long time. 

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#13 of 38 Old 06-09-2013, 12:53 AM
 
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My kids get pocket money.  My kids do regular chores (vacuum, dust, tidy, wash dishes, clean own rooms, bring in laundry, etc.). The pocket money & the regular chores are not related.

 

We do pay for extra-special household work. For example, cleaning the over thoroughly is worth ~ USD 7.00.  Doing a "deep clean" of the kitchen or batheroom (taking everything out of the cabinets, washing the cabinets & under the sink, tidying and washing those items that need it; etc.) is also paid for.

 

We also have fines. Leaving a wet towel on the floor is ~ USD 0.75 fine. The person who finds it and puts it in the laundry basket gets the $ from the person who left it. In  theory, socks left on the living room floor are also fined - but truth be told, I often just pick them up, grumbling to myself.

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#14 of 38 Old 06-10-2013, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My kids get pocket money.  My kids do regular chores (vacuum, dust, tidy, wash dishes, clean own rooms, bring in laundry, etc.). The pocket money & the regular chores are not related.

 

We do pay for extra-special household work. For example, cleaning the over thoroughly is worth ~ USD 7.00.  Doing a "deep clean" of the kitchen or batheroom (taking everything out of the cabinets, washing the cabinets & under the sink, tidying and washing those items that need it; etc.) is also paid for.

 

We also have fines. Leaving a wet towel on the floor is ~ USD 0.75 fine. The person who finds it and puts it in the laundry basket gets the $ from the person who left it. In  theory, socks left on the living room floor are also fined - but truth be told, I often just pick them up, grumbling to myself.

Sounds like a good system.   I also "fine" my D14 as well if she doesn't do the dishes.


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#15 of 38 Old 06-11-2013, 07:00 PM
 
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we play chorewars http://www.chorewars.com/ dd gets money for chores at her dad's house.

 

she'd rather play chorewars with me than get money.

 

she loves just creating a new one and seeing if she can beat me.

 

its a lot of fun. FINALLY a 'useful' game. I wish all those cooking games would teach them cooking too.

 

dd is allowed to be a slob sometimes. she is going thru the flighty stage and socks and wet towels are normal I feel now so I am not too harsh on her. she remembers part of the time, and misses other part of the time. so to me its fair.

 

dunno for an almost 11 year old she is pretty awesome. being a single mom she has grown up that she has to help out too so she never really grumbles about it. however I have to accept it on her time.

 

plus sometimes she does  not really have to do much chores. like she will be in a couple of very intense summer programs for july. I don't expect her to do any chores.


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#16 of 38 Old 06-17-2013, 05:42 PM
 
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This has been a tricky thing for us. DH feels that chores and allowance/pocket money should be related -- ie, if she doesn't do her chores, she doesn't get squat. I tend to think they should be unrelated and that we should use other consequences for chores going undone. In the past, when allowance was tied to chores, money didn't mean much to dd. She would gladly pay her allowance and more to get out of doing the dishes. I prefer not to give her that out.

 

This year she was pretty busy and stressed with school, and her chore-doing went downhill. Now that it's summer and she's homeschooling again next year, the chore chart is back in effect. It's not easy to motivate her to do them -- like other teens here, she's pretty happy to live in filth. I have to consider some serious motivation -- like tying the daily wi-fi password to completing her daily chores. That one usually gets her going.

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#17 of 38 Old 06-19-2013, 06:07 PM
 
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I just started started up a system to pay for chores, this past week actually, so we shall see how it goes. In the past I have always seen chores as a requirement of being a part of the family, and there are still things that I will not pay for, such as DD cleaning her room and picking up her own stuff, because I think it should be required.

 

The reason we started to pay is because my daughter, almost 14 y.o., has been doing a lot more with friends outside of school. We have found that we have been giving her extra spending money each and every time she hangs out with friends, so she can grab a snack or drink, or see a movie, etc. I found a pin on pinterest with a Job Board of sorts that certain tasks, outside of the usual expectations, would be worth a set amount of money, if the child chooses to complete it. We decided instead of just handing her money every time she needs it, she can choose to do chores as she needs extra spending money. Some chores can be done on a daily basis (such as dishes,) and others on a weekly or bi-weekly. Chores range from 50 cents to $5 for the largest projects.

 

I am newly pregnant and pretty nauseous all the time, so we are hoping that this will help us stay on top of the cleaning during a time where I would probably not be up to much outside of my regular work day. So far she has been really into it, and our house has been spotless. She has made $18 so far in the past week, but we are prepping for a huge family party so she has been doing some serious cleaning.
 

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#18 of 38 Old 06-21-2013, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, there are some things that I agree with should just be done without expecting payment - i.e. keeping your room clean, picking up after yourself.

 

It does seem that money is the best motivator for both of my girls.  My 7 year old is starting to ask for money.  Every Friday the summer camp they go to takes the kids to a cupcake shop and they're allowed to buy treats.  So my 7 year old is asking for money so she can buy a cookie.  Like Neaera says, I don't want to just hand her money, I want her to earn it. 

 

In addition, just this past weekend my girls and I moved in with my boyfriend.  We've gone from a small three bedroom apartment to a large four bedroom house.  We're going through a period of adjustment, getting used to all the extra space, which means more house to keep clean.  I'm going to revamp the chore list, adding some things that are just considered being part of the household, and other chores that they'll get paid for.

 

I'll be brainstorming over the next few days, but the input from everyone on here has helped me see what I want to focus on and what lessons I want to teach my girls.  I want them to learn that there are some things that they have to do and should not expect to get paid to do them, but also that money has to be earned, it won't just be handed to them for doing nothing.


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#19 of 38 Old 06-21-2013, 07:11 AM
 
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My kids are still pretty young.  But I pay my 6 and 7 yo each $10/week.  My DD has to do dishes everyday (and we have a lot of them) and help with the baby with a good attitude to get it all.  My DS helps with yard work and has to water calves everyday (which there are a couple groups and he has to haul the hoses around and it takes about an hour and I certainly don't have time to screw around with it).  If I have to nag I make a deduction.  $10 is a LOT for pocket money every week especially since the don't go anywhere to spend it :)  So out of it they have to tithe, save and then they get to decide what they want to do with the rest.  DD spent a big chunk of her savings on an American Girl doll and DS spent a chunk of his on legos.  Both of which was fine with me.  I still reserve the right to say yes or no to their spending.  I think now they decided they want to make more money so they are wanting to reinvest their money into calves- which is a smoking wonderful idea :)  

 

My DH doesn't go to work and then not get paid.  My kids are doing serious work that takes over an hour or two each day on things that greatly improve my life- I am more than happy to pay them and then it also has the added benefit of teaching them about money.  Nobody hands us money because they like us- and I don't want my kids to think that is how the world works.  I do understand the view of being a part of the family and helping out without being rewarded though- and they do plenty of other chores as a privilege of living in our house...


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#20 of 38 Old 07-05-2013, 09:56 AM
 
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My mom tried this.  But when I hit 14 I was pulling in a TON of money babysitting and her $5 a week was a joke.  So I stopped doing chores smile.gif  (what a little jerk I was!!)

This! My 12 year old earns $8-10/hr babysitting, and $20/day to cat sit, so why would he want my few stinking dollars? No one pays me to do chores and no one pays the kids to do chores. It is just part of family life.

BUT- I always pay when one of my kids babysits another. I want them to give their full attention to the younger child(ren) and that means I pay as if they were a "real" babysitter.

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#21 of 38 Old 07-17-2013, 12:06 PM
 
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We have not tied allowance into chores. In fact, we don't even have chores. I just ask the kids to help out when I need it and that could be any variety of tasks. Like many others, I consider this to be just part of family life and not something they should get paid for. 

 

I also recently instituted Gail Vaz-Oxlade's system for teaching kids about money and she argues well against tying allowance to chores. 

 

Right now my kids get $5/week and that will be upped to $7 a week when DH goes back to work (he's been laid off for a bit) so that they can divide their allowance into various savings jars a la Gail's system. 

 

That amount has sufficed for them for some time, however DD in particular is starting to want more things for herself and has expressed an interest in earning extra money. I now pay her to do jobs that would be mine, such as walking my dog when I'm not around (she's really more my dog than the family dog) or other things that are not part of regular household stuff. 


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#22 of 38 Old 07-17-2013, 03:12 PM
 
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My kids, almost 8 and almost 10, have chores they are required to do every day or they will lose privileges.  And they will certainly not accumulate 'points' towards reward events (we have a system that x number of 'perfect days' equals certain treat activities).  But if they do them, then the standard privileges remain intact and if they do everything without being asked on their personal responsibility list (posted on their doors) on a regular basis, they get fun bonuses.

 

Allowance is tied to 'bigger' household chores that we wouldn't expect them to take care of.  If they pitch in and do one of these per day, roughly, then their allowance is around 5/week.  If they do more than one per day the allowance can be expected to be higher, and if they aren't pitching in very often, their allowance can be small or nonexistant.  

 

Thirdly, we pay them, directly, for major jobs (i.e. tedious, time consuming yard work, etc).  They can earn up to 5 per big job that takes a lot of time and effort.


Kids are so different!  Older jumps at the chance to earn money, younger is not motivated at all by it and receives very little, both in the weekly allowance which is loosely merit based, as well as the major paid work opportunities that pop up occasionally.


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#23 of 38 Old 07-18-2013, 08:16 PM
 
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Serafina raises a good point about how motivated some kids are by money. 

 

DS really could have cared less, and when I first experimented with trying to tie chores into money he quite happily chose to forgo the cash. That was definitely not how I had wanted it to play out, lol. 

 

DD on the other hand became rather obsessed with it and again I felt like the "lesson" I was teaching was not about contributing to the family and helping each other out, but more like "what is in it for me?". 

 

Finally, it was obvious to them that if either myself or their Dad skipped a chore because we were too tired, etc., nobody was taking any privleges away from us. I feel that made me a hypocrite, not to mention sent a very unwanted message about how People with Power can control those who have none. 


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#24 of 38 Old 07-19-2013, 06:46 AM
 
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I agree, it can be really hard to teach them to want to, for all the right reasons, pitch in and help the household run smoothly.

 

I get a lot of the self-interested thinking being proudly displayed, as in, "What chore can I do today to earn extra minutes playing video games?" And I feel exhasperated, like they are missing the point.

 

But, then they are all the time displaying a willingness to share, help other people out, give up their whatever to someone else just to be nice, and all kinds of other altruistic and social behavior that makes me beam with pride, so I figure I have pretty sweet and giving kids who just also happen to like to pursue their own advantage/rewards in a direct way, from time to time.  That's also a natural part of being a well adjusted, social human being.


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#25 of 38 Old 07-19-2013, 11:47 PM
 
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We have never had assigned chores, or allowance in my family. If I wanted help, I just asked, and usually the kid just cooperated (sometimes with some grumbling). If they needed money, they just asked, and usually I cooperated (sometimes with some grumbling).

 

Now, as late teens, they each have jobs that pay way better than I ever could have.YoungSon spends it all the moment he gets it, and BigGirl saves every cent. And they have each found their own way of contributing to the running of the household. YoungSon mows the lawn, takes out the trash, does his own laundry, and keeps his room (fairly) clean. BigGirl does her laundry and the common towels, keeps her room immaculate, cooks meals for the family often, and cleans the kitchen frequently. Oh, and she loves to vacuum. BigGirl is likely to see something extra that needs to be done and simply do it; YoungSon more likely will need to be asked. But then he will do it fairly gracefully.
 

Neither of them show any sense of entitlement. They realize that everyone needs to contribute to the household. They have somehow acquired all the traits that chores and allowance were meant to instill, without ever experiencing either.


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#26 of 38 Old 07-20-2013, 01:33 AM
 
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Personally, I don't understand tying money to chores. As adults, we are not paid to clean our homes. We do it for health and cleanliness. IMHO, attaching a monetary value to it defeats the goal of teaching them responsibility to one's self.

However, if one does something above and beyond the regular expectation, then pocket money is appropriate. This would vary from family to family. But an example for our home would be bathroom cleaning. We have 3 bathrooms, so in a regular week our oldest two clean the sinks and toilets of two of the bathrooms. Dh cleans the shower of one, I clean the last bathroom (probably because it's the one I use the most. redface.gif) The last tub/shower isn't really used, so it just gets a quick rinse with a full cleaning maybe once a month by me (or of guests are coming.) Now if the kids want some cash, they can assist with or fully clean the bathroom I would clean. We negotiate a price, but nothing less than $5 for the sink, toilet and tub. I do the shower walls because they aren't tall enough. (FWIW, We use baking soda, vinegar, and some lemon juice for our cleaning.) To me, this same idea can be applied to other household duties that are shared in our home. It may work for some and not for others.
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#27 of 38 Old 07-22-2013, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Personally, I don't understand tying money to chores. As adults, we are not paid to clean our homes. We do it for health and cleanliness. IMHO, attaching a monetary value to it defeats the goal of teaching them responsibility to one's self.

 

 

I don't necessarily disagree with the principle of what you are saying.  But my question is: if you don't tie money to chores, HOW do you get them to do chores when nothing else works?

Do you take away privileges, ground them, etc.?

 

How do you teach them responsibility if there is no tangible reward for them doing chores?  While for some have a clean living space is reward enough, but some people seem content to live in a mountain of filth and need other incentives.

 

My 7 year old is a neat person, she likes every thing neat and tidy.  My 14 year old, sorry to say is rather lazy.  She is not paid for picking her room and keeping it clean, and I am always having to tell her to make her bed up and pick her room up. 

She does get money for doing the dishes every day, and it seems to be the one incentive I've found that motivates her to do the dishes.


Divorced mother of two DD15 and DD7
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#28 of 38 Old 07-22-2013, 09:12 AM
 
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I have a list of chores that are their normal part of helping out, then a list of extra jobs that pay and how much. Cleaning up after themselves, wiping the table, dusting, vacuuming, dishwasher unloading, etc is on the free list that expect them to get most of done. Weeding, washing the dishes, weekly trash, things like that are optional and paid.

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#29 of 38 Old 07-24-2013, 11:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by heket View Post

Personally, I don't understand tying money to chores. As adults, we are not paid to clean our homes. We do it for health and cleanliness. IMHO, attaching a monetary value to it defeats the goal of teaching them responsibility to one's self.

However, if one does something above and beyond the regular expectation, then pocket money is appropriate.

 

I want to make clear that I'm not knocking what you are doing because it sounds like it totally works for your family, which is the important thing. (I honestly think *most* families have issues with kids helping out, so whatever whats for another family gets a big thumbs up from me) However .....

 

I don't understand the why you think it is a really bad idea to pay for some tasks but a great idea to pay for others. Either way, its paying for tasks.

 

I do tie allowance to routine chores (I didn't when the kids were small because I didn't need to, but it works for them now in the teen years), but both my DH and I often ask the kids to do something extra, don't offer them anything for doing it, and they happily comply.

 

  • The things we ask them to do that are over and above tend to be things that obviously really need to be done, and we are usually asking for help doing them -- not expecting them to go off and work like house elves while we relax. They are happy to work with us on almost anything, and happy to pinch in when needed (like one night I hurt myself while fixing dinner, and they took over, finished cooking, cleaned up and told me to just relax)
  • The things we require that they just do everyday/every week are things that they don't necessarily agree need to be done, or just don't enjoy doing them as often as they need to be done. Putting their clothes in the laundry, scooping the cat box, etc. They just aren't that interesting, my kids would happily live in a big mess, and while they love having pets, have sadly not yet developed the internal locus to consistently care for them without me checking up on them. I'm bribing my kids to do things I think are important, but they don't. 

 

The part I don't understand is the implication that it is almost morally wrong to use money to bribe teens to do certain things, but that it is OK to use money to reward doing other, very similar kinds of things.

 

I do understand that mom's money isn't motivational to some teens, especially as they get older and have their own money.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#30 of 38 Old 07-24-2013, 02:40 PM
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For my eldest, who is 14, I set up a system.  She has a jar with 6 buttons in it.  Each button represents a dollar.   She is supposed to do the dishes every day.  Whenever she fails to do them, a button is removed from the jar.  At the end of the week, I count up how many buttons are left in the jar and that's how much money she gets for the week.

 

 

 Taking buttons out seems really punitive.  I would do it the other way around--she can get buttons/money based on what she has done.  That seems so much more positive, and therefore motivating.  


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