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Paid for chores?

Chores / Incentives / Rewards question--Do you pay your kids an allowance? Expect them to help with chores around the house? Or, use an incentive chart that allows them to earn a prize? I can see pros and cons to all 3 ways.

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  • We're an off the grid family who homestead in the bush of Alaska, so my answer may be drastically different from most.  But I'll offer you this:


    We do NOT pay, reward or incentivize chores.  Chores are things that must be done in order to live.  Kids need to learn that not every little thing pays.  They need to understand the value of volunteering time, skills, abilities, and knowledge.  They also need to know what needs to be done on a daily basis in order for each home to run smoothly.


    If we pay, reward, or incentivize children to do basic things, they grow up with an entitlement attitude, believing that every little thing they do needs to be paid for, rewarded or applauded.  This doesn't happen in real life, and the ultimate goal of parenting is to help them be functional adults who contribute in a constructive manner to the society they live in.

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      • Mariel Howsepian
      • Public School Teacher & Homeschool Mom
      • Mariel_Howsepian
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Diana Kennedy I really appreciate what you have to say on this subject. I agree with you that kids needs to learn what it takes for a home to run smoothly, and that in real life we don't get paid for taking out the trash or doing laundry. We do get rewarded with vermin-free kitchens, nice-smelling clothes, and better health.

      Reply Like 1
  • Amen, Diana Kennedy!  We don’t pay for chores, etc., even lawn mowing or car washing.  It’s family time and we make it fun and part of learning how to “adult”, as the kids say these days.  My older two (almost 20 and 18) don’t even do their own laundry, but they are so busy I don’t mind helping them out.  They know how to do it, if they need to, because we taught them in their early teens.  They also iron and cook and grocery shop and keep their own bank accounts, so I think the route we’ve chosen has worked well.

    Reply Like 4
  • I agree that children shouldn't be paid for chores. Certain things need to be done around the house for a family to function. My daughter is 6. We haven't yet started an allowance, but I have thought about it. I'm still thinking...

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  • We have a list of items that MUST be done first as a basic household responsibility that must be done BEFORE moving on to the bonus things that earn money.

    kids are 5/7

    bonus are things like clean the mess out of dads car, clean moms car(pays less) LOL, etc...

    but "first things first" and the first list is not short...

    Reply Like 1
  • I grew up being taught that we all help each other and chores are jobs we work together on. I don’t like feeling that I am bribing him to do the right thing and help out when we are a team and that is what living under our roof entails. In my classroom at school, I don’t believe in extrensic motivation either. I want my own son and my students to have the desire to do things because they want what is best for themselves. When I do offer a reward and it is few and far between there seems to be much deeper gratitude being learned. My son says “kindness is it’s own reward” and my kids at school say, “knowledge is it’s own reward.” It works for our family. Every family is different.

    Reply Like 1
  • We do give an allowance, but it's not attached to doing chores.  They are expected to do things around the house and pitch in when and where needed.  Once they are working regularly, they no longer get an allowance, but they are still expected to help out around the house.  No matter if it's cleaning, cooking or helping care for the 3 yr old and 5 month old granddaughters who live with us.  Kids at home are 20, 17 and 13.

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  • I have never paid my kids for chores.  It's part of being in a family.  I will pay them every now and then for "outside of the box" chores like vacuuming out the car or washing the car.  But, the regular every day running a household chores, nope!

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  • Yes

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