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?

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.

April Fools Day! Origins and Best Of…


So today is April 1st, or April Fools Day (this is true, not a joke).

April Fools’ Day, also referred to by some as “All Fools’ Day” is an informal holiday celebrated every year on April 1st. The day is not a national holiday in any country, however it is widely recognized as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other, called April fools.

Hoax stories are also often found in the press and media on this day – but not on the Internet, because we all know that everything on the Internet is 100% true, right?!?

Many believe that April Fools Day originated in In Iran, where jokes are played on the 13th day of the Persian new year (Nowruz), which falls on April 1 or April 2. This day, was celebrated as far back as 536 BC, and is referred to in Iran as “Sizdah Bedar”, making it the oldest prank-tradition in the world.

As far as April Fools Day pranks go – and many of us are already expecting there to be something so outrageous that it has to be a prank, but back in 1957, the BBC pulled a prank, known as the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest prank, where they broadcast a fake film of Swiss farmers picking freshly-grown spaghetti. The BBC were later flooded with requests to purchase a spaghetti plant, forcing them to declare the film a prank on the news the next day.

While that was a clever prank, some people take April Fools Da a little too far, such as, “An Australian woman called emergency services to tell them her baby had fallen off the bed and stopped breathing. When the ambulances arrived, there was no sick baby. It was her idea of a hilarious April Fool”.

But some fairly common pranks to look out for, and some classic pranks which garnered world-wide attention include these;

On April 1, 1976 famed British astronomer and radio presenter Patrick Moore announced over the BBC that a rare alignment of the planets Pluto and Jupiter would occur at exactly 9:47 a.m. during which the effects of gravity would be nullified and everyone on earth would feel weightless for a brief moment. “At 9:47, Moore declared, ‘Jump now!'”

A minute passed, and then the BBC switchboard lit up with dozens of people calling in to report that the experiment had worked!

But it was all a complete prank.

In more recent years some of the best April Fools jokes have been perpetrated by the advertising industry, specifically in 1996, when Taco Bell ran a full-page ad in the New York Times announcing it had purchased the Liberty Bell and would rename it the “Taco Liberty Bell.”

In 1998, Burger King announced the rollout of its “Left-Handed Whopper”, there has been stories about glasses for dogs, canned pizza, and in 2002 a British supermarket chain called Tesco published an advertisement in the British newspaper “The Sun” announcing the successful development of a genetically modified ‘whistling carrot.’ The ad explained that the carrots had been specially engineered to grow with tapered air holes in their side, which, when fully cooked caused the carrot to whistle.

On the Internet, hoaxes are such standard fare that April Fools’ Day is barely distinguishable from any other, but this one keeps getting brought up year-in-year-out, and makes me laugh – the announcement to that every computer connected to the World Wide Web must be turned off and disconnected for Internet Cleaning Day, a 24-hour period during which useless “flotsam and jetsam” are flushed from the system.

What stories have you seen today?

Did you get fooled?

Did you pull a prank on your kids, or them on you?

We toyed with the idea of moving all the kids into each other’s beds in the middle of the night, but geez, we’re so darn tired, I just told them about it in the morning.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Some Trivia and Facts for you to educate your kids and impress your colleagues.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A public holiday in parts of Canada – Newfoundland and Labrador – St. Patrick’s Day commemorates the death date of St. Patrick, and is celebrated on March 17 by the Irish and Irish diaspora worldwide.

Here are some cool facts you can use to educate your children and impress your colleagues.

  1. St. Patrick is not actually Irish.

St. Patrick was born in Great Britain and was of Romano-British descent.  He was “6 years a slave” in Ireland, being captured by Irish marauders and brought to Ireland at 16-years-old.  He eventually escaped and returned to his family, although he would make his way back to Ireland as a missionary, and be forever associated with Ireland and the holiday in his name.

2. St Patrick’s traditional colour was blue, not green.

Historians say that green was adopted because of St Patrick’s use of the shamrock – a three-leaf clover – and because of the its association with Ireland, the “Emerald Isles.”

  1. Shamrocks weren’t originally symbols of luck

Shamrocks represented the Christian Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, however with the commercialization of St. Patrick’s Day, and with shamrocks appearing more and more on greeting cards due to their religious symbolism, shamrocks became lucky charms (without being magically delicious).

  1. The correct short form is Paddy, not Patty.  “Patty” is short for “Patricia,” not “Patrick.”  “Paddy” is an accepted short form for someone who’s name is Patrick.

You are wise not to call anyone of Irish descent “Paddy,” however, because that term is a 19th century slur for Irish people.

And did you know that there is a website and Twitter account created specifically to correct this misnomer.

  1. The St. Patrick‘s Day parade was invented in the United States.

On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English army marched through New York City in attempt to celebrate their Irish roots with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.  Now there are hundreds of St. Patrick’s Day parades worldwide.

  1. If you want to really impress an Irishman or woman try this tongue-twister: Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh.  It means Happy St. Patrick’s Day!.

 

Source of information came from here; http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/562405-st-patricks-day-cool-facts-history-tradition/

O’ Canada: I know you changed the name of a Province not too long ago… Right?!?


Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada
Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve got to stop making bets with my wife that I lose.  She tells me that she never makes a bet that she will lose, however I try time and time again.

Now I’ve got more than her to challenge me.  I’ve also got Linus to fare with.  He likes to interject his opinion on the world – whether he knows what he’s talking about or not – when he says; “Actually”…Then he throws out his 2 cents worth.    For example he is studying the Provinces and their capitals in school, and while I was testing him, he corrected me and said; “Actually, Toronto is the Capital of Canada and Ontario is the Capital of Toronto.”

Yup.

So after my wife and I set him straight (with a little help from Siri to reinforce the point) we decided to have a discussion about the provinces and territories in Canada as a family.  Note: I think he gave in because he 100% trusts what his mother tells him, clearly more than what I have to say, because mummy is a teacher, and teachers know everything!

In our discussion I mentioned that recently – within the past 10 years – Canada added a territory and changed the names of a province and a territory and that I did not believe it was Newfoundland, but I was not sure.  So we discussed, they called me crazy, we discussed some more, they were convinced I was crazy and we left it at that.

Later that evening we had friends over and with all 7-children in the basement playing I again brought this up to our distinguished guests and after my explaining that there was a recent name change or 2, there were now 4 additional people calling me crazy.

The sticking point here for my wife was that when she was in school she was taught that the province of Newfoundland was really Newfoundland and Labrador and if this was the name change I was thinking of, then I cannot say it occurred “recently” because 1949 was not recent.   I agreed.

So I went to Wikipedia and provided this update for my wife and guests:

On January 4th, 1999, Nunavut split from Northwest Territories.  Nunavut was assigned “NU" as its province code in mid-2000.

That we knew.

On December 6th, 2001, an amendment to Canada’s federal Constitution Act officially approved a name change from the easternmost province of Newfoundland to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  The move for change began in the early 1990s to provide “symbolic but important recognition of Labrador’s status as a full and vital partner within the province, with its own unique geography, history and culture.”   On October 21st, 2002, NL was recognized as the provincial symbol for Newfoundland and Labrador, replacing NF.

Insert huge smile here.

But there was more…

On January 1st, 2003, The name of Yukon Territory was changed to Yukon.

So Dads, if you ever decide to Google the term, “I was right”, you will probably come to this post.  Not only was I right, but I educated 5 adults, 7 children (and myself).

Now you know too.