Parenting Pro: Do you tie your child’s allowance to chores?

Central Penn Parent Staff//March 27, 2017

Parenting Pro: Do you tie your child’s allowance to chores?

Central Penn Parent Staff//March 27, 2017

Parenting is rarely smooth sailing. For the big problems, we seek guidance from pediatricians, counselors or other professional advisors. But for the everyday matters — those “how-to” questions that nag us and the non-emergency parenting “glitches” — we want to hear from our parenting peers.

In this new feature, we present a topic of concern on our Central Penn Parent Facebook page each month, and ask you to respond. It’s a conversation continued by you, offering a variety of opinions backed up by a wealth of experience — parenting pros lending your guidance.


Q: Do you tie your child’s allowance to chores? Why, or why not?

A: Our kids are expected to help out around the house without being paid and we explain that we don’t pay them because they are part of the family — part of the team — and that a family helps each other out. For the chores that are above and beyond that, we will offer to pay them a certain amount for each chore. For example, we paid my oldest, 7, $1 to pick up the dog poop in our yard because seriously, it’s totally worth a buck not to do that!

– Courtney Cordell Orr

A: Yes, I will pay them a little amount for each chore I ask them to do. I feel it teaches them the value of working and then the reward of getting paid when you did a good job.

– Lurlei Rutkowski

A: When children know that their contribution to our family is valuable and important, it builds them up on the inside. But if there are certain tasks outside the ordinary that need to be done or if they do an extra job, paying them for that is a helpful way to reward them. I also believe that…an allowance [can help teach children] how to handle money in an age
appropriate way.

– Joe Sokolowski

A: No, because home chores are chores that they will need to know how to do once they get old enough to live on their own. They won’t get paid for doing chores when they become adults, so they don’t receive allowances for chores as children. They do receive small gifts here and there for accomplishments, excellence, etc., but not for doing things that are required of them.

– Dee Wellington

A: Yes, definitely for certain chores, as it teaches them a good work ethic and builds responsibility. As an adult, they’ll earn a paycheck for the work that they do at a job, so it is the same concept that you are teaching them when they are young. There are definitely some tasks that they just had to do, being contributing members of our family and household.

– Beth ‘Davis’ Hoffer

A: I go back and forth with the struggle of wanting my kids to help out without any type of reward, and rewarding them with money/tangible items! A great friend of mine attaches money to different chores and has this on her refrigerator. For example, sorting socks may be worth $1, organizing the book shelf might be worth $2, scrubbing the sinks might be 50 cents, etc. If her child is wanting to earn some money, they can complete a chore and earn that money for that chore.

– April Starner

A: We do pay them allowances to help teach them good money management. They have “Save,” “Give” and “Spend” jars and have to put 10 percent in both Save and Give. They do have daily chores to do, and sometimes are threatened with not getting their allowance if they refuse to do chores (the threat is enough though). So far it’s been a great system. Right now, my two oldest boys are saving up to buy the Lego Millennium Falcon — they’ve been saving for a really, really long time!

– Jill Schwab Landers

Join the conversation! Look for our Parenting Pro questions on Facebook. Please note: not all responses will appear in the magazine, and responses that do appear may be edited for length and style.

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