children working

Should Our Children “Work”?

Should children HAVE money?

As a mom I say “yes”, but under specific conditions. Merely giving children money for the sake of it is not a good idea. This is how the “money growing on trees” ideas get started. I say this, because I have done it before and now I regret just giving my kids money. If you are not interested in giving monetary rewards…keep reading…I have non-monetary prize suggestions, also!

Should children EARN money, then?

Again, I say “yes.” Why? Well, when it all comes down to it, parents DO provide for their children. They are the ones who buy them their clothing, food and entertainment. So, why not let them earn these things? Dave Ramsey also promotes the idea of requiring children to work for what they get. I agree to a point. Young children of course should not have to earn rent money to live at their own home and they most certainly should not earn money to buy their own basic clothing. Fancy clothing-yes! Extra shoes-sure! I am sure you are getting my point here. I think that a child should earn money to buy their own toys, tasty treats and other fun stuff that is not necessary to survive.

Earning Opportunities:

They can engage in simple household tasks, like:

  • Taking out the garbage
  • Putting away their laundry
  • Making their bed
  • Helping clear the table after meals
  • Helping put clean dishes away
  • Taking care of a pets needs: filling the water bowl, taking them for a walk

Children can also earn money for things that they already have to do, like:

  • Going to bed on time
  • Brushing their teeth before bedtime and before school
  • Packing up their backpack and getting things ready for school
  • Eating breakfast
  • Doing their homework

The above are tasks that have to be done anyway. They are tasks that mom usually does by herself and then she’s so exhausted and frustrated because no one is helping, right?!! So, by enlisting the rest of the family, everything that needs to get done, will get done and the kids will earn stuff they want, in the process.

What if I don’t want to give my child MONEY? What else can I give them?

  • Children can earn points. You can even keep track of their points on a new website called “Chore Monster” (it’s free!)
  • You can download a simple “chore chart” online and keep track of what they accomplish. When the chart is complete-they can earn a desired toy or prize.
  • Print out or buy tickets or coupons that they earn. After they have earned a certain amount, they can trade them in for a prize or sweet treat.

What does Research Say?

  • Research shows that children learn responsibility and independence by engaging in housework (and also homework).
  • When children earn money, they also learn about saving, giving to those less fortunate and spending their money wisely.
  • As children get older, they can learn about investing their money. As a result they can start saving up for a larger and more expensive item, like a video game, toy or even a new bicycle.
  • By earning money, as opposed to “being given money,” children will learn that hard work pays off!

What do you think? What has worked for you and your children? I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions!