Should you pay your kids to do chores?


Such a great topic, and one in which I have spent a lot of time discussing with my wife over the years.  Last week, I was interviewed by the Globe and Mail on this very topic and the article can be found here:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/should-you-pay-your-kids-to-do-chores/article23076370/

Here is the article for you to read and comment.  I’m curious as to your thoughts as a parent who has tried this and found that it works, or failed, or if there a compromise which worked.

The article:

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The phrase “the value of a dollar” is misleading. The truth is, there are so many values contained in a buck it’s hard to count them all. It’s these values we are trying to impart when we give kids an allowance – that money has to be earned, that not every desire can be instantly gratified, that it’s important to give to those in need. Perhaps the biggest point of contention is whether to pay kids to do chores. Dan Lieber argues against it in his new book, The Opposite of Spoiled. Parents don’t get paid for housework, so neither should children, according to Lieber. But a strong case can be made for the other side of the debate as well. We asked parents on each end of the debate to explain their allowance philosophy.

NOT TIED TO CHORES

Kids should do chores to help the household and learn to take care of themselves, not to pocket cash. “Let’s fast-forward to when your child goes to college. Is he going to want to be paid to take out the trash and keep his room neat?” says Kristan Leatherman, co-author of Millionaire Babies or Bankrupt Brats.

Lori McGrath, Vancouver-based blogger of The Write Mama

Kid’s age 6

Allowance $3 per week: $2 goes into his wallet, $1 goes into a piggy bank.

The lesson “I want him to learn how to be independent with money. I want him to feel empowered about it, and to learn how to make good decisions about money.”

Why it’s not tied to chores “He does have chores, but [the allowance] is just to teach him financial responsibility. We don’t want it to be an emotional thing – ‘You’re being a good boy, here’s money.’ We want it to teach him about making his own decisions and saving for things.”

Warren Orlans, Toronto-based tax consultant @ inTAXicating and blogger @UrbanDaddyBlog

Kids’ ages 10, 8, 5

Allowance $5, $4, $2 per week, respectively.

The lesson “The value of money. Money is not something you throw away, but it’s not the be-all, end-all. You can do without money. You don’t have to buy everything you see. But if you see something you want, you can save up and purchase it.”

Why it’s not tied to chores “The kids have to do chores as part of being members of the household. … I’m a big sports fan, and there’s nothing worse than having a player on your team who’s only in it for the contract.” But if Orlans has to clean up after the kids after two warnings, he makes them buy back the items, whether socks or comic books, from their allowance.

Denise Schipani Huntington, NewYork-based author

Kids’ ages 12 and 10

Allowance $12 and $10 per month, respectively.

The lesson “That money has worth. And it has consequences.”

Why it’s not tied to chores “The very idea of that turns me off completely. None of us [in the family] pay each other for doing what needs doing. But they get an allowance so that they can decide what they want to do with money. We presented it more as a way to help them understand how money works.”

TIED TO CHORES

Paying kids to do chores teaches them about working for what they want. “Having the feeling that the money comes from your effort appears to be related to the notion that money doesn’t grow on trees, and that you’re not entitled to any money,” says Lewis Mandell, an economist and financial literacy educator.

Tibetha Kemble, Edmonton-based consultant in First Nations relations

Kid’s age 6

Allowance $10 after a full slate of chores is completed, usually every two weeks.

The lesson “That there is a direct connection between doing work and getting something for it … and that things are expensive and if you save up your allowance you can afford to buy it – that it’s not just about immediate gratification.”

Why it’s tied to chores “It was really the only way that we could tie money to something without it seeming arbitrary or punitive or behaviour-related.”

Jen Kern, Toronto-based events and business development director

Kids’ ages 6, 3

Allowance No allowance for the three-year-old. Older son has a chore chart with various amounts (25 cents for making his bed, for example) with a weekly maximum of $7. His parents match whatever he saves.

The lesson “That money isn’t free … linking savings to that was really important. Neither my husband nor I were ever taught that, and as result we were really crappy with money for a lot of our late-teens, early 20s. We’re trying to explain to him that if he puts his money away, it will be there when he needs it. He’s saved $85 already.”

Why it’s tied to chores “There was going to be no free ride.”

 

Danielle Riddel, Calgary-based real estate assistant

Kid’s age 14

Allowance $70 per month ($10 has to go into savings)

The lesson “Nowadays I feel like kids get money all the time for everything. I want her to learn that you can’t have everything as soon as you want it. You have to work for it. You have to save for it.”

Why it’s tied to chores “She doesn’t get allowance for cleaning her room or taking care of the dog. She gets it for doing all the floors in the house and cleaning three bathrooms. I wanted her to have money because I want her to learn to spend and how to save money, but I didn’t want to just give it to her.”

Thoughts?

Comments?

This is GREAT! Now only if I could add more hours in the day…


All things being considered, the past week was a pretty darn good one for The Urban Daddy.

He has the WWE Network.

He found Impact Wrestling.

He gained 8 points in his hockey pool.

 

The only problem is that there is not enough hours in the day for all of these “events”.

 

I showed my kids the WWE Network and they cannot quite understand the concept of 24/7.

“Every time I turn to that channel, there is wrestling on…”  Yup.  For the kids that means they get to see all the wrestler I have been talking about for years, and they get to see the wrestlers who belong to the wrestling figures they play with.

For me, it means no more reality TV when I morph into The Urban Daddy at night time.  No more Kardashians, no more Honey Boo Boo, nothing to do with fixing household problems, no more cooking competitions, and no more I can’t believe I was… (pregnant / fat / thin / dead / an alien / a boy / a girl…)

As the Miz would say, “Quiet on the set.  Quiet on the set!”  AWESOME!

 

As for Impact wrestling, at the start of the new year (2015) Impact left Spike and headed off to nowhere land with a Canadian World Champion and other Canucks on the roster without a TV deal for us Canadians.  More importantly, Impact has FINALLY ditched the “TNA” part of their name (Total Non-stop Action) and the most important change was the removal of their terrible announce team!  I’m okay with Taz, and Josh Matthews will grow into the role, but I hated the old announcer whose name thankfully escapes me.

Now I found out that Impact has set up a Canadian-only link so we can view their shows.  The link is here:

http://www.impactwrestling.com/videos/Canada

I’m watching their most recent show now!  It’s apparently updated Saturday mornings at 10am.

YAY!

 

And finally, I’m out of last place in my hockey pool, thanks for some key players who have gotten hot (Kris Letang, Alex Barkov, Wayne Simmonds, to name a few).  I’d be much higher than 10th out of 15 teams if I had selected better goaltenders.  I chose the Edmonton Oiler goalies, who remind me of that old joke out of Detroit when the Red Wings had a struggling Chris Osgood and Mike Vernon as their backstoppers.  The comment was that the Wings were going to play Osgood or No-good, and the Oilers goalies have me so far in dead last in all goalie categories that my other 2 goalies, Robin Lehner in Ottawa and Kari Ramo in Calgary cannot help me out of.

I need a goalie.

Other teams want all my good players for little in return because they know I’m ready to shed salary, but I’m waiting for a really good return so I can make up some group this year and have the best group ready for next year.

 

So, who needs sleep?

WWE, Impact, and all the west coast hockey games…

Awesome!!

What Exactly Will You (They) Be Suing For?


As Canadians, I’ve always been told that we are much less litigious than our neighbours to the south, which means we don’t use the expression, “I’ll sue you” all that often.

To be honest, I think we are more likely as a society to apologize, take responsibility for the situation and then come to a common resolution than to add fuel to a situation, find a lawyer and haul everyone off to court.

So, as parents, it’s not all that common to hear any conversation including the words, “sue” or “sued” or “suing” or even the expression “suing their asses off”. (I’m not sure if that’s a real expression but if I were suing someone, I’d want them to know that I was going to sue their ass off!”

Yet I swear I heard my kids trying to figure out if they combined their allowances, if they had enough money to hire a lawyer…

Hmmm.

Should I now put down some retainer funds on a lawyer?  I would if I knew that they were going to sue for, if it was even us, and where their grievances lie… Not enough treats?  Maybe they don’t like our “no electronics on school nights” rule, or maybe they want to stay up later than 7, 8 and 9 respectively.

Or maybe we just need to stop giving them allowance, or give them opportunity to buy more things with their money.

Got to love parenting!

How I Explained Taxation to a Class of Kindergarten Students


How I explained taxes to children in a kindergarten classroom without having them lose focus or fall asleep on me:

 

Q: Do you know what a tax is?”

It’s something you have to pay.

Q: Why do we have to pay taxes?

We pay taxes for things we need.

We have to.

We pay taxes so poor people can have some money too.

Q: Any examples of things we need?  How about some examples of things we need that we all share.

1) Roads

2) Lights

3) Signs

4) Sidewalks

5) Playgrounds

6) Schools

7) Policewomen

8) Firemen

9) The trucks that come to take our garbage away.

10) Hospitals

11) Doctors

12) Food – Do taxes pay for food?

Not usually.

We have to pay for our own food. But taxes pay to make sure our food doesn’t make us sick.

Money we pay as taxes make sure we have clean water.

Q: Does anyone remember the ice storm, and when all those branches and trees fell on peoples houses and cars and all over the street?  Men and women had to come to take the branches away.  Taxes paid for that.”

Snack time – I brought cupcakes for the kids.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Nothing is certain except (Hello Kitty) death and taxes,” and just as your children will gradually learn about (Hello Kitty) mortality, they will also find out about taxes and other financial issues.

There are taxes everywhere on almost everything to make sure that everyone has a chance to pay taxes and share.

Paying taxes is like this container of cupcakes.  This pile of cupcakes is the economy. This is the money that belongs to the whole country and everybody needs a piece – the schools, the street cleaners, the hospitals, and the TV stations.

Without their cupcake, the government can’t provide any of the things we need.

If we gave all of our cupcakes to the government we would have nothing left.  But taxes are like taking a little bit off – the wrapper, maybe – to give to the government while we keep the rest.  The government collects all the wrappers and uses them to keep all of us safe and healthy and helps us learn and grow…

Apart from enjoying a fun time, your kids will learn a very valuable financial lesson…sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it too.