Should You Pay for Chores?

This has got to be one of the most enduring parenting dilemmas of all time. We conducted an informal poll on Facebook, and even though 87 percent of parents said the answer is No, there was still a wide range of practices in real life. Which is pretty much how it works with all family issues. Ultimately, you figure out what works best for your family. Still sussing it out for your clan? Take a look at what these parents had to say:

(For more on why kids benefit from doing chores, check out 6 Things Housework Teaches Kids.)

“They help around the house because it’s the right thing to do. Not for a kiddie paycheck. My kids know that their parents work hard to provide shelter, clothes, food, transportation, entertainment, holidays, extracurriculars, etc. They also know they can help us out by pitching in with daily/weekly chores, so they do. If they are looking to raise money for a special event or item, they can ask me and I will give them that opportunity with a chore outside of daily upkeep… like cleaning out my car or a deep spring-cleaning task. They can raise as much as they are willing to work for that way. With five kids and a dog in this house…I never run out of special tasks.” —Amy, New York

“I pay thousands for his soccer club. He does what I say when I say it.”
—Christine, New Jersey

“No, mostly because they need to learn to be responsible and take care of themselves. I’m not just raising my boys, I’m raising someone’s future husband and father. Also, I’m not a maid LOL!”
—Courtney, New York

“I think paying them to do chores puts the focus on the money rather than being about teaching responsibility and being a contributing member of the household. Also, they really want to help at their current age. (And hey, I don’t get paid for doing chores!) That said, I may change my mind when my young kids are a bit older (but still too young for a paying job) and want to earn money. I suppose earning money through chores is still better than just handing it to them like you’re a money tree.” —Rachel, California

“I need a maybe! We pay for chores that help the entire family— different from caring for their own rooms/belongings (which is expected as part of the household).” —Melissa, California

“I used to be a no but now I’m a yes. I’m using it as a way to teach them a work ethic and how to manage money. When they work for their money, they are more particular about how they spend it.” —Kim, Florida

“We’ve gone back and forth on this. It seems that when we pay directly for chores EVERYTHING starts to have a price. When we provide an allowance and expect them to do their chores they help out more freely. We do pay “extra” for some bigger items like keeping the pool clean.”
—Gretchen, Florida

“Yes. You will end up giving them the money they need anyway. Teaching your children to manage money when they are young creates such a great foundation. And asking them for work in exchange for the money they manage is another amazing lesson. At my home when we were young- there wasn’t an option- you HAD to do you chores…period…no excuses…but you were given an allowance in exchange.” —Holly, New York

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