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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:

Final_wrk1+(2)

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?

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Playing School in 2013. Playing School in the 1980’s. As a Parent, should I be happy or sad?


Some kids who may or may not belong to me were playing school at home this morning. I heard this;

“What’s 6 + 6″?

I heard this; “What is 16 X 32? Kidding.  What is 2 + 2?  What, you said, 4?  FANTASTIC!  How did you ever get that answer!!”

But when I really listened I heard this;

“Time for the lockdown drill. Remember to get down on the floor as low as you can and hide. Stay very quiet.”

I’m not sure if I should be happy that they are prepared for the worst-case scenario, or sad that this is what they have to do in order to stay safe in school…

Granted, we did these types of drills in the 80’s should there be a nuclear attack…

That was sad too.

Can’t we all just get along!

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Parenting: Still Smarter than a 6-year-old, but maybe not my 6-year-old…


A couple of days ago on my Facebook page, I posted a story about how I’m smarter than a 6-year-old.green apple

Here is the post;

Phew! Still smarter than a 6yo.

My 6yo and 3yo were fighting over apples tonight.  Each wanted their own for snack, however both kids are exhausted which means I would have pieces of 2 brown apples turning up later tonight when neither of them finished their entire apples.

So I deferred to them to figure out how to split the one apple they get for snack.

6yo Stewie decided that since he’s bigger he should get 6 pieces of apple while little Boo gets 3 pieces.

“Are you sure?”, I asked?  “Is that splitting the apple and sharing?”

“It’s fair”, he said “and that is what I decided.”

“Okay” was my response.

So I cut the apple into quarters and gave 3 of the quarters to Boo, in a bowl, then I took the last quarter and cut it into 6 small slices.

There. 3 pieces for Boo and 6 for Stewie.

Point taken!

Score one for the Daddy!!!

Update: So while I was patting myself on the back for being the smartest daddy on the block, I failed to check the table to make sure they finished their apples.

Oops.

When I did check, I saw that Stewie easily finished his quarter apple, however, Boo only ate half of one of the quarters of the apples she was given.  No wonder Stewie was so smug when I made that decision.  He knew his sister wasn’t going to eat 3/4ers of an apple.

So to be sure he didn’t find out, I ate the rest of her now browning apple…

Then I blogged about it.

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Why did the chicken cross the road?


At dinner last night, my 3-year-old daughter Boo wanted to tell us all a joke.

“Why did the chicken cross the road?” she asked.

“Why?” we enquired.

Already laughing, she said; “It didn’t.  It started to cross the road but got runned over and died.”

Silence

“What?” I said.

“Who told you that joke?” he mother asked.

“No one”, she said proudly.  “I made it up myself.”

If this was our first child, I’m certain I would have reacted differently, but instead we said that was inappropriate and we changed the topic of conversation, but I could not for the life of me get images of the game Frogger out of my head.

What would you have said?

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Why did the chicken cross the road? (Photo credit: bortescristian)

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English: Japanese Miso Soup in Hamamatsu, Japan

Looks something like this stock photo but with WAY more ingredients! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you have picky eaters in your household?

Always looking to balance out their meals?  Do they eat too many carbohydrates?  Not enough protein?  Too many fruits and not enough veggies?  Have a kid too skinny?  Or one who needs to cut back?

Well we had the perfect dinner last night for the picky eaters in our household:

Miso Soup: Full of soba noodles, re-hydrated mushrooms blended up so they cannot be detected in the soup (plus a few large chunks for the adults – which the kids remove), bok choy, nori, egg, green onions and chunks of tofu.

Plenty of protein.  Green veggies.  Carbs.  And a bowl is a meal!

They all loved it!  Especially considering the other meal option that we offered that night, and every night, to be exact.

We’re not a restaurant, right folks!

Option 2:

WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) with a side of; “You get what you get and you don’t get upset!”

So like I said… The soup was a big hit!

The perfect dinner for picky kids!

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