When you were a kid, did you have to help out with things around the house? Did you get paid to do chores?
The notion of paying kids to do chores is one that is readily accepted in many households. The general idea is that it might help teach kids the value of money while learning some basic domestic skills, and being personally responsible. For the kids, it’s nice because they earn a little money in the process. A win-win, right?
Maybe. Or, maybe not.
Personally, I have to admit that I wasn’t paid to do anything around the house. My parents never once paid me to do a chore. Literally, not one time. Of course, they also didn’t make too many demands of me either, as I wasn’t required to do too much around the house. So I can’t speak from personal experience what it was like to be paid, or to be made to do a ton of chores. Though I did recall one family when I grew up, where kids did get paid a small amount for doing household chores, which is what got me thinking of this topic.
These days, my perspective is different because I’m a parent. As my kids get older, issues such as this – whether or not to pay them do chores – come with the territory. As I’ve now come to that point, I have need for a point of view. And that point of view is clear: I don’t think kids should be paid to help with chores.
As an example – if a kid is a teenager, why should he (or she) get paid to mow the lawn? Now, I’m not in any way advocating that kids be seen as labor for around the house. Of course not, and I probably wouldn’t ever ask a kid to mow a lawn, and would rather pay a service anyway. But in those households where that isn’t an option, maybe chipping in with mowing the lawn once in a while is fair? After all, the kid lives there, and needs to learn life skills anyway.
This could apply to other things, such as doing their own laundry, cleaning up the dishes, helping rake leaves in the autumn, and so on. Again, while I DO NOT advocate making kids work to make life easier for adults, I do think that they should chip in with things just because they are a part of the family. Not because they get paid!
After all, when you get older, you get paid for doing work. You don’t get paid for work around the house.
My Questions for You
How were chores handled when you were younger?
Do you agree with me that kids shouldn’t be paid to do chores?
Or, do you see this a normal way for kids to earn an allowance, or a good idea for other reasons?