Chores: they are annoying little tasks that just need to get done on a regular basis. It’s an inevitability that the dishes need to get washed, the floor needs to be swept, and the laundry needs to be folded.
Assigning your kids chores is a great way to teach them responsibility. However, children aren’t always super thrilled to do them.
I Understand Why Parents Might Use A Cash Incentive
In order to help motivate their kids to be diligent about completing their chores, many parents will offer a reward for getting them done. Parents who do this tend to offer their children a little bit of money for getting everything done.
If that’s what works in your home, that’s good for you. However, I just don’t think it’s for me or my family.
In Fact, My Kids Don’t Get Any “Reward” For Completing Their Chores
In my household, I give each of my three kids assigned chores that are respectively age-appropriate: for example, my eldest is tasked with sweeping and dusting while my youngest sets the table for dinner every evening.
They are expected to complete their chores as needed—for example, dishwashing has to be done in a timely manner, but vacuuming can be done at any point in the week. I do not reward them for getting things done.
So Why No Reward Or Payment?
There are a couple of reasons why I personally choose not to reward my kids for completing their chores with money or treats.
Firstly, I believe that giving them money for completing tasks might cause them to be less vigilant about doing them should a reward not be in place anymore. Like when they reach their teen years and I stop thinking that chores should be rewarded, will they be less inclined to do them?
I Want To Make Them Think Of The Big Picture
Rewarding kids for doing their chores makes their motivation to help out entirely individualistic—they only care about what they get out of it.
Instead, I want my children to see our family as a unit working together. Helping out with chores is about contributing and helping out the family as a whole. I want them to consider the collective good in their motivation to do things and foster a sense of responsibility to themselves and others.
Chores Are Just A Daily Part Of Life
Chores are, unfortunately, necessary tasks that everyone needs to perform to maintain their living space and basic hygiene.
By not offering any real incentive or reward to my kids for completing their chores, I want to normalize the idea of chores just being things you have to do, whether you like it or not so that they grow into responsible adults.
Of Course, There’s No Right Way To Parent
That said, I understand why some parents like to pay children for completing their chores: It’s a way to reinforce good behavior, and it can also prepare them to understand how jobs work.
However, I stand by my methods and the lessons I hope to teach my kids through them.