Money and kids
LOVE this poster from the bulletin board at the Cup and Top Cafe in Florence, Mass. [just west of Northampton, next to the famous Look Park that has a zoo and mini-railroad]. The Hilltown Parents sponsored me. What a fabulous friendly group. At least 25 moms and dads came out to hear about my favorite subject — CHORES! We covered everything, starting with the holy trinity of family meeting – family dinner & family chores. These three activities form a lifelong bond for a family. Topped off with encouragement and allowing the child to discover the rules of the world and make mistakes without shaming or blaming, it’s a pretty good guide for parents.
Of course there was plenty of discussion about how to handle money. I realized that when kids are eager to earn money, they manipulate parents into paying them to do chores. Once the kids have earned the money, the interest in pitching in disappears, and the kids will always expect to be paid for doing those tasks.
My philosophy: if the kids want me to pay them for working around the house, they’ll have to pay me.
This scene happened in our house.
Mom: Noah, time to empty the dishwasher before dinner!
Noah, age 8: Mom, would you pay me to empty the dishwasher?
Mom: Sure, Noah. I’ll pay you $3. But dinner is $5.
There are other problems with paying kids for chores. It teaches them you can use money to manipulate people. Money is THE lowest motivator to do ANYTHING. In fact, many research studies have proven that rewarding kids is the fastest way to insure they lose interest in a task.
In the famous magic marker study, the kids who were rewarded for drawing with magic markers quickly lost interest. Those in the control group kept using the markers and getting more creative.
Sadly, we live in a world structured around reward, punishment and praise. Changing paradigms is tough. It can be done at home.
And YES – doing housework yourself is always easier, faster and better. And YES – doing it all yourself makes you the house servant and denies your child a valuable opportunity to learn self-discipline and experience teamwork, connection to family and self-esteem.
The holy trinity of family meetings-dinner-chores plants deep roots that provide the foundation for a long-lasting and beautiful family tree.Explore posts in the same categories: Alfred Adler, belonging, chores, conscious parenting, motivation, mutual respect comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.