Last week, I sought your help in developing an allowance system for my kids. The feedback I got was great. I’m inspired to see so many parents who have such great ideas when it comes to creativity with allowance systems. As I continue to develop an allowance system for my kids, I have read a lot about the pros and cons of basing the allowance on a set of chores.
Anti-chores based allowance
Those that are against chore based allowance systems argue that chores are part of family responsibilities while allowances are part of a child’s learning experience with respect to spending and saving. They believe these issues should be separated.
Some have argued that parents don’t get paid for their basic duties and responsibilities in maintaining the house like cooking and cleaning so why should we teach kids there is compensation for things they should do as part of their role in the family unit.
Some critics argue that a chores based system does not work for all kids. What if your child does not need money? Does that mean they do not have to do their list of duties? Shouldn’t they be done regardless of pay?
Tie it together
On the other side of the debate, some parents do not want the allowance to be a handout. When the kids grow up, they will quickly realized that hard work does pay off and that compensation is tied to effort, time and value. If that’s true and a hard reality then learning it early is not a bad lesson to take up.
I sometimes wonder if this new era of entitlement has something to do with parents spoiling kids and not making kids work for their allowance. Does it have something to do with allowance programs that do not require chores or actions? If parents buy their kids anything and everything, what does that teach them about working for money?
An allowance creates valuable teaching opportunity. It can be a tool to teach kids about the value of money. It should teach kids that money does not grow on trees and that you can’t get money without doing something to deserve it.
A little bit of both
I can see both sides of the argument but I must admit, I think there is nothing wrong with tying the allowance to chores. As an entrepreneur, I want to teach my kids about the importance of work ethic. I believe hard work pays off and tying benefits to performance is a valuable life lesson. It's so important to me that the allowance program teaches my kids about money.
As I develop this allowance-based system, I know that I want to incorporate both elements into the program. To do this, I need to talk to my wife about which chores in the house will not be tied to compensation and other chores that will be tied to compensation and try to figure out how to incorporate this into a simple program my young kids will understand.
Got any thoughts on the pros and cons of tying allowance to chores?
My next post, I will share with you our next step in developing the program: defining the values. I'm getting closer to figuring this out.