12,352.35-3.15
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Money & Relationships: Should you pay your child for chores or school work?

​​To motivate disinterested kids, parents try to offer them financial rewards, with the amount varying according to the child’s age and type of task. Find out the strategy you should adopt to incentivise your kids.

, ET Bureau|
Jan 13, 2020, 06.30 AM IST
0Comments
Getty Images
household
Do not combine pocket money with payment for household chores.
Parenting may be one of the most rewarding exercises, but it is also one of the most difficult. As children grow up to become more assertive and wilful, getting them to complete household chores and school work turns into a daily combat for parents.

To motivate disinterested kids, parents try to offer them financial rewards, with the amount varying according to the child’s age and type of task. However, not everyone considers such financial incentives as effective, ethical or rewarding in the long term. So should you pay your child to perform his tasks? Consider these points before adopting the strategy:

1. Should you pay the child for all household chores?
It is important that the child be asked to carry out basic chores around the house from a young age, increasing the complexity of work with age. He can begin at 6-7 years, when he can pick his toys or clothes, and as he grows older he could clean up his room or cupboard and clear up the table after meals. As a teen, he should take on bigger jobs like dusting, cleaning the car, watering plants or looking after the pet. If the kid refuses to perform these simple jobs, should you pay him to perform? No. Working around the house helps a child learn about responsibility, taking care of himself, and shouldering his share of work while living with others. If you pay him for basic tasks, he will consider it a norm and refuse to do any work without a financial reward.

2. Should you offer rewards for good grades?
Many parents cajole kids to study by offering money or gifts as incentive and, in many cases, it works. However, as with other simple tasks that a child needs to do, finishing homework or studying for exams should be done without the promise of rewards, financial or otherwise. If, at any point, the child loses interest, he will simply refuse to study even for money and you will lose all leverage. More importantly, the child needs to understand that he is studying for himself and getting good grades is not a favour to the parents. Besides, this system doesn’t work if there is more than one child since you can’t compare the mental prowess of the kids with the help of grades.

3. Should you link allowance with payment for chores?
If you are already giving pocket money to your children, do not combine it with payment for household chores. The allowance should be a fixed amount irrespective of the chores performed by the kid. If, however, you are not giving a monthly allowance and want to offer financial rewards to the child, do not pay for errands that form a part of his routine tasks or daily duties like cleaning up the room or studying. Instead, specify and assign particular tasks that are harder or more complex than usual and pay as per the child’s performance.

4. What is the long-term impact of paying kids?
Typically, financial rewards don’t work as motivation for children for too long and can serve only as a temporary measure to urge them to work. The kids either get bored of the system or start expecting bigger rewards for performing even the basic tasks. In the long term, as adults, they are likely to expect some form of compensation for fulfilling their duties and responsibilities. If, however, the child is paid to help him understand the value of physical labour and money, it should be encouraged. This can help a child appreciate the effort put in by parents to earn a living and run a household.

IF YOU HAVE A WEALTH WHINE, WRITE TO US...
All of us have been in a financial dilemma when it comes to relationships. How do you say no to a friend who wants you to invest in his new business venture? Should you take a loan from your married brother? Are you concerned about your wife’s impulse buying? If you have any such concerns that are hard to resolve, write in to us at etwealth@timesgroup.com with ‘Wealth Whines’ as the subject.

Disclaimer
The advice in this column is not from a licensed healthcare professional and should not be construed as psychological counselling, therapy or medical advice. ET Wealth and the writer will not be responsible for the outcome of the suggestions made in the column.

Also Read

Business, B-schools working harder to get their Ps, Qs right

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service