Should we pay children for doing chores?
Parents have different opinions on whether they should encourage children to do chores by offering pocket money. Some believe that it encourages children to help and shows them that there is no such thing as a free lunch. However, using money or gifts to encourage good behaviours or habits may not bring long-term changes, and parents should pay attention to the following points:
- They should point out that chores should be shared by every family member, and children should share the duty without asking for money or gifts.
- Parents should encourage children to perform tasks they can handle, such as setting the table, tidying up their personal stuff and folding clothes. They should understand that these are their responsibilities. By nurturing these habits, they will learn to take care of themselves.
- Psychologically, motivation covers the intrinsic and extrinsic aspects. The former will drive us to find the joy in a task and act willingly, while the latter will enhance the value of such act through external rewards like money or gifts. Rewarding children with pocket money for doing chores is an extrinsic motivation, which may force them to do chores for money and bargain with parents.
- To improve the motivation of their little ones, parents may reward them through recognition, appreciation and gratitude. Compared with material rewards, these are better ways for kids to experience the value and happiness of helping their parents.
- Moreover, parents can show their appreciation with some non-monetary rewards, such as a hug, ice-cream, bed time story, weekend outdoor activity and interest class.
6 October 2017