4 min Read
Mommy Laugh Track: A How-to Guide for Allowances
May 3, 2011
4 min Read
May 3, 2011
Mom, can I have my allowance?” is a question I hear once a week.
Yes, I am one of those parents who pay my children to do chores around the house. I know that in recent years, some parenting philosophies say it’s wrong to pay children to do what should be their family responsibilities around the house. These folks are not always against allowances, per se, they’re just against attaching it to work (as in, I don’t get paid for doing the dishes, so neither should you). I totally don’t get that logic. Out here in the Real World, I don’t know too many people who work for nothing, and by the same token, I don’t know too many folks who get paid for doing nothing (Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian excepted).
I think it’s important for kids to learn that if they work hard, one of the rewards is financial. That’s how the world works; has done since the first exchange of a sabre toothed tiger’s incisor for moving a big rock. Of course, there is the inherent satisfaction that comes from a job well done, but somehow this principle is lost on a seven-year-old as he grumpily makes his bed or sorts out his Transformers. The thing is – kids are just as happy to live in a pit of filth, so the altruistic satisfaction adults feel when a room is cleaned just doesn’t translate to them. Kids do it because we tell them to. I like telling kids what to do as much as the next guy but I also like rewarding the ones who work harder when there is some sort of incentive.
Here’s my system:
I will admit there is one flaw in the system that involves grandparents and birthday money. This “buys” my kids a few weeks of messy living, but I think it’s a small price to pay. Happy Birthday to YOU, PigPen.
So here it is: You want the Pokemon cards or latest gizmo from Apple? Clean up your room and sniff out something dead.
Published in May, 2011.
Read more of Kathy’s tales of motherhood at parentscanada.com, kathybuckworth.com or follow her at twitter.com/kathybuckworth. Her book, Shut Up and Eat! Tales of Chicken, Children and Chardonnay, is in bookstores across Canada.