You parents out there, where do you stand on allowances and paying for chores? I’m all for it, but my wife refuses to pay me. She said something about “it’s not call babysitting when you’re the dad.” Whatever.
When I was a kid, I never got an allowance for doing chores around the house. My parents didn’t believe in allowances. They grew up in rural China in a time when kids were expected to do chores around the hut for free. When my dad was a kid, it was his duty to milk the chickens and run 26.2 miles to sell the chicken milk at the nearest village. According to dad, he had to run uphill in monsoon-like conditions…sometimes there was also ten feet of snow.
Even though my parents didn’t believe in allowances, my mom did offer to pay me five cents to vacuum the house. My mom thought five cents was fair because we lived in a small house (our house was so small that if you took two steps through the front door, you’ll end up in the back yard). I, on the other hand, thought five cents wasn’t enough and I insisted on twenty-five cents. Bad move on my part — I ended up vacuuming the house weekly for the right to live in it.
Recently we started letting our kids spend the money they received as presents. In the past, we made a note of what they wanted and shopped around for the best price. However, when the kids are in charge of their money, they have to get the toy or book when they see it at the store. They don’t want to shop around or wait for it to go on sale. Even when you tell the kids they could get an extra toy or book if they wait, they still insist on buying it right then and there.
I like the idea of telling my kids they can buy something they want with their money. I no longer have to be the bad guy when they ask me to buy something for them. But I still feel bad when I have to tell them they don’t have enough money saved up for the toy they want. You should see their sad little faces when I tell them that.
Even though I like giving my kids a little money management responsibility, I’m still not sure if I want to pay my kids for doing chores. That’s just not how I was raised. Here’s a question for my readers: Do you give your kids an allowance or pay them for doing chores?