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Allowances, complications, compensating for chores… what’s a parent to do?

Posted on : 15-08-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Money

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It was with surprise and well, a bit of disgust that I was recently reading a plethora of comments on a financial forum I participate in about this very subject.

Let’s see if I can reiterate without divulging specific details… the basic question was how do you compensate your kids, be it allowances, pay by chore, etc.

There were lots of different answers, many of which were pretty complicated.  For example, they get X per week based upon a fractional variation of their age in number of months but they can get X+5% per week of they do chore B, but X+15% per week if they do chore F.  Another one was based on requiring a certain number of daily chores, weekly chores and monthly chores.  And another one… ok, you get the picture, COMPLICATED.

What was truly amazing to me were the people that said their children had only one or no required household chores.  WHAT??? Do people not teach their children how to work, share the load, be a family???  We are talking about children ages 8+.  Their child has the daily chore of feeding the animals and if they do that, then they get their weekly allowance.  No other household chores.

I don’t know about you, but in my house, it takes a whole heck of a lot more than feeding the pet to keep the household running and frankly, I am their mom, not their maid.

Our children are expected to help with daily chores which include: keeping their rooms cleaned and beds made; taking care of the pets (feed, cat boxes, poop duty); vacuuming; sweeping; dishes; etc. as well as particpate in bigger cleaning events we do as a family such as cleaning the bathrooms, “spring” cleaning, etc.

Our children do not get compensated for any of these household chores… it’s part of being a family.  It teaches responsibility, discipline and character.  It’s no wonder kids today are so lacking in self-discipline and personal responsibility, their parents aren’t teaching it!

When you get into the game of compensating for every little thing, you have to continue the game.  Were is the heart of service, giving and sharing involved in that?  A job is for making money, household chores are for being a family.

Each person in our family receives a monthly allowance, parents and kids alike. This allowance is because we are all part of the family and it is not dependent upon doing a household chore.  That’s how we give out allowances.  For additional money the kids want, they have to earn it by being entrepreneurial.

We happen to pay for mowing/edging the lawn.  We used to pay for a service, but one of the kids wanted this responsibility so we gave it to him this summer and he reaps the financial rewards because of his desire.  We’ve never had to take this away from him because he does it happily every single week without being reminded.  Were he to not do this, we’d simply go back to the lawn service again.

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