Giving Allowance for Chores… Is It a Good Thing?


Teenagers, Tweenagers, Toddlers OH MY! I have three kids in each of these developmental stages (fun times in my house…… ) and providing allowance for chores is not something we do for any of them.  I am all for teaching kids responsibility and how to work hard to earn a dollar but I have found that paying children for household chores does not always have the outcome parents hoped for. 

Recently I was walking into Starbucks with my son where he wanted to order a drink and a sandwich. Now this wouldn’t seem out of the normal except he reminded me he took the garbage out today so I owed him five dollars anyway.

This really got the wheels turning. I feed these kids three meals a day, drive them to school, doctor’s appointments, baseball practices … does anyone give me allowance at the end of the week?  The good old fashion saying, “ It takes a village” … well that village starts in our home. Every kid has a different chore they are responsible for.  The ten year old takes out garbage, the teenager helps with laundry, the toddler knows how to throw her diaper away. Do they really need to be rewarded for participating in the daily function of our home? Does paying them allowance cause them to feel entitled rather than teaching them responsibility? 

They live in the our home and one day they will live on their own.  Their household chores are necessary skills they need to learn to be functioning adults. No one is going to pay them for sweeping the floor when they live on their own. Taking away allowance for chores does mean I needed to figure out a way for them to earn spending money. Below is a list of “allowance earning activities” that my family and I have been putting to the test.

Reward the Extra Effort

The teenagers are responsible for their own laundry but if they took the initiative to throw in a load of towels without being asked, then in my book that’s extra!

Reward Good Behavior

Employers give an annual review and hopefully a raise to employees who meet or exceed standard performance, so as a parent I’m happy to reward positive behavior in my house.

Reward Entrepreneurship and Reward Savings

Encouraging kids to earn money on their own and reward them for saving what they make. I’m going to offer a 25% match of whatever they have saved at the end of a set time period.

How do you handle allowance in your family?  Any tips or tricks you want to share??

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Michelle is a mom to three minis: a Queen Tween, a nine year old standup comedian, and a sweet baby who hasn’t let anyone sleep for 14 months (and counting). Michelle was born and raised a Southern California girl, but relocated to the Pacific Northwest where she has spent the past 4 years living in Seattle. Michelle is a brunch enthusiast by nature; filling her weekends exploring the town’s best offerings and searching for the next, best, perfect latte. Naturally, Seattle was the perfect fit. But after four years, Michelle, her husband, and her three minis moved to Phoenix in search of more opportunity, and, hopefully, better brunching. Michelle is a makeup artist by trade, with ten years experience in beauty, bridal, and fashion makeup. When Michelle isn’t busy packing lunches, driving to basketball practice, or attending PTA meetings, she can be found beautifying her clients. “Everyone has a story” says Michelle, “This is mine; it isn't boring.”


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