Should Children Receive an Allowance for Doing Chores?
First, let's look at why children should have chores. Many parents will argue that children should enjoy their childhood and not have to worry about chores. There's a problem with this belief: when they become adults, will they have the skills to look after themselves, or will they become slobs without their parents to pick up after them?
By giving children age-appropriate chores, we are teaching them skills that they will essentially need later in life. There is also the fact that chores teach them family unity, since chores make the child a vital part of a functioning family household. If you don't believe me, then you haven't seen a young child beaming with pride after he or she has helped Mommy or Daddy. To them it wasn't a chore: it was an act of love toward their parents and gave them a feeling of belonging.
Chores can also teach teamwork as well as independence. For a child to complete their chores, it gives that child a sense of pride that they could do it without help. On the other hand, if several people in the household do their chores, the child feels like a vital part of the family. Chores can give children a boost in self-esteem and good work ethics that will stick with them into their adult life.
If chores teach children responsibility, why should allowance be given? Well, the reason is simple. As adults, we don't get our money without working to earn it. I have seen children that receive allowance just for the sake of receiving an allowance and not necessarily for anything they have done. This does not teach them to value money. This approach could teach them to take money for granted because they could think someone is always going to be there to hand them money as they need it like clockwork. As parents, we are supposed to provide for our children everything they need. This includes food, shelter, clothes on their backs, etc. We even tend to provide them with toys and money to go out with their friends. So what is the point of allowance? They have everything they need from their parents.
The point of an allowance is to teach them yet another life skill. Like I mentioned earlier, we must earn our money as adults. If we don't work, we don't get paid. It is as simple as that. Although chores do teach children responsibility and give them pride in what they do, you can also teach them to see that unless we work, we don't get paid.
If the dishes aren't done, most of us won't let the dishes pile up in the sink. We will lecture and even hand out punishments to our child for not doing their chore, but we will still do the dishes. How well do you think it would go over if you decided not to show up at work one day because you didn't feel like it or you forgot? It probably would result in loss of pay or even you getting fired. Well, we won't fire our child but why would our child be entitled to get paid for a job not done or in this case, done by someone else? After all, we already provide for them, why should they get extra perks if they refuse to help around the house?
Perhaps you are still set in the thought process of children should do chores without expecting money in return. I can relate to that. With my children, they have their set daily chores. These are chores that are exempt from earning money, privileges, etc. I do have other chores that they are to do and these are the chores they earn allowance on. Granted, most of these chores are what I consider weekly upkeep chores. If they don't do them, they don't get their allowance. So here, I am teaching them to do chores as being a responsible member of the family as well as teaching them that in order to earn money, they must work for it. We provide for all of their needs and even most of their wants, so if they wish for extra money they must earn just like we do.
So in conclusion, I do believe that children should get some sort of an allowance for doing chores. Choose a program or plan that suits your family best. There are so many life lessons that they will learn early on that will be beneficial to them later in life. As parents, it is our job to prepare them for the world. This is just one of many ways to prepare them for what they will face as adults.