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Chores are good for children

When I was in primary school, my mom and dad gave me an allowance if I completed certain chores around the house. Although I did not necessarily relish doing the chores themselves, I liked the program as it provided me with money for work completed. By age 12 I was babysitting for cash and by age 13 I was working at the local library.

All this work was helpful in teaching me the value of money and in being able to calculate how many hours I needed to work (at $3.75 per hour back then) to afford something I wanted to buy. Being able to connect hours worked to the price for something you want is a tremendous lesson in making you consider whether the item you desire is really worth it.

I have recently implemented the concept of money for assistance from my children with some success. Today, we went to their grandma’s house and took 14 leaf bags from her yard to the street for pick up because she could not lift them. My three older children - one 5 year old and two 8 year olds - schlepped all of the bags to the street and she paid them $2 each. She was happy to pay them and they were happy to do the work in exchange for the money. A good bargain all around…

Keeping my house relatively clean is impossible without my children’s assistance. They are definitely the biggest mess-makers but in my view any house is tough to keep clean without some help. The three older children are still young enough that if I offer them $2.50 to clean their rooms and they feel it is too low, they will bargain me up by 50 cents to $3. Given the time and energy it takes me to clean their rooms, I am happy to pay them $3 each.

Chores are good for children and children doing chores are good for parents too.

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