Kids, Chores and Finances
Chores. Unless we’re Paris Hilton, we all have to do them and often there’s one (or a few) that we really despise. But unless we have the resources and the inclination to live like royalty, chores are part of our everyday life.
Research is showing that in first-world countries, less is demanded of our children today. There are a myriad of reasons why… More gadgets and appliances to do it for us; different parenting styles; varying family dynamics (eg single parents, blended families, more or less grandparent involvement) - all great discussion points for another day.
Today I’d like to focus on what can we do to give our children the sense of satisfaction that comes with doing their chores. As Nancy Darling (Professor of Psychology) states “Kids feel competent when they act competently”. Giving our children a sense of achievement and ownership around chores teaches them some extremely valuable life lessons. The added bonus is that when kids are helping out, your load is lightened and a sense of teamwork is instilled in the family home.
So, what do the experts suggest is the best way to kick this off? Pay them! Scott Pape (aka The Barefoot Investor) has written an entire (and extremely practical) book about the topic. Before reading The Barefoot Investor for Families, I had designed a fairly intense chore chart system. I have since realised that it was too complex to maintain long-term and am currently working on something else (more to be revealed later). Like Scott, I believe that money and household chores are an integral part of being a human being. And as he mentions in his book, kids need finance literacy. It is currently absent from the Australian school curriculums. So, for the time being, it is up to us to teach our kids about money. And at the end of the day, who better to do this than us, the parents!
This week I’ve compiled a simple list of suitable chores for children. A google search will provide you with a heap more if you need further ideas. In our household, the chores that are included in the pocket money pool are those chores I would pay a cleaner (or similar) to do. If you'd like to receive this list in your inbox, drop me an email and I'll send it within 24 hours!
Please do write back to me ...
I would love to hear what is working for you and your family, especially if you’re using some of Scott Pape’s strategies.
- Do your kids get enthusiastic about doing their ‘jobs’ when they know they will be paid?
- How do you manage their spending?
- What jobs do you pay the kids for and what do they just have to do as a standard family expectation?