5 Reasons Your Child Should Work

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In today’s Family Minute radio program, I talked the importance of our children doing some manual labor either inside or outside of the home. Here are 5 reasons your child should work.

1. We were all created to work and work is good.

2. Work is necessary for a productive life.

3. Work teaches self-discipline.

4. Work is not only healthy for the body, but also healthy for the mind.

5. When a child works, they learn to appreciate the work of others.

Chores

Since our children were created to work, how do we teach them to do so? Well, as you manage your home well, you’ll want to have a chore chart and be sure to assign age-appropriate chores to your children.  When my kids were growing up, we made a chore chart. I’ve got a free downloadable chore chart for you to use in your home. In the vertical column it had each of the chores listed including things like taking out the garbage, washing the dishes, yard work, making their bed, and cleaning their room. On the horizontal row, it had each of their names.  As they completed a chore they checked it off and then we reviewed it with them at the end of the week and awarded them with an allowance.

By doing chores, our children not only learn the value of hard work and its rewards, but it also gives us opportunities to teach them important life lessons. I remember doing some weeding in our yard with my children when they were young.  When I noticed them getting bored, I tossed out a question, “What would happen if we didn’t weed?”  “Well,” said my oldest daughter, “all the good stuff would die.”  I went on to explain how that’s true in our lives, and had them tell me some of the weeds we all need to watch for.  They came up with things like calling people names, lying, and being mean to other children.  We talked about how weeds choke out our joy and hurt our relationships.  It’s just like in the yard; if we don’t get rid of the weeds, the weeds will get rid of the good stuff.

Allowance

As your children do chores around the house, consider rewarding them with an allowance. Use this opportunity to show your children how to be good stewards of their money. Teach your children how to save, spend, and share wisely. In our home, as our children were growing up, each of our children had three mason jars for their allowance. They received 50 cents allowance for each year. So, a 10 year old would receive five dollars per week.  Two dollars would be placed in the spend jar. Two dollars and fifty cents was deposited into the save jar and fifty cents in the share jar, to be given to church.

This short video shows how Bill Cosby had a fantastic way of teaching his children about money.

Do your children do chores around your house and do they get an allowance for doing so?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://DaddyLife.net Hank Osborne

    I agree that children should work. We have our kids do chores starting at a very early age. However, we do not do allowances and we do not reward chores…at least in the way you have described. We throw in surprise rewards into their chore list like some extra time on the Wii, but that is not tied directly to a specific chore or amount of time of work (on chores). We feel that chores are each family member’s contribution to the family unit. My wife does not get paid to do her chores like laundry and I do not get paid to mow the lawn. So my oldest does nto get paid to take out the trash. These is are our contributions to the family unit. 

    We do pay our kids to do things that are outside our definition of chores. For instance I needed to repaint the trim around the garage doors. The area needed sanding. My son asked if he could earn some extra money doing some sanding. I agreed because this is not a normal chore and this is something that I considered paying someone else to do anyway. We also pay them to do cleaning jobs and other things that are not daily or weekly tasks..things like racking and bagging leaves. That is something that I can put a price on in terms of x number of dollars per bag of leaves. If they choose not to do it then they choose not to earn money, but they are still required to do their regular chores without and expectation fo compensation. Their chores are things like emptying the dishwasher, sorting clothes, taking out the trash, vacuuming, watering plants, etc, etc. 

    We do give our kids gifts of money on occasion, but we do not give allowances. We feel that allowances build a sense of entitlement and money for chores takes away an opportunity for kids to experience a deeper ownership in the family unit.

  • http://www.crtutoring.com CR Tutoring

    Hank,
    I really like your philosophy on allowance. Allowance creates a money-motivated dependance. We don’t want to condition young children to only “work” when they are paid.
    I think stewardship is something parents need to teach their children because they won’t learn it elsewhere. It’s important to be able to teach them basic life applications (using the internet, money-managing, debt, etc) especially with our technology. 
    Kristina

  • http://www.FamilyMinute.com/ Mark Merrill

    Great input, Hank. It sounds like your system works well for your family. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Tayne

    Hey Mark,
    I’ve been using your .50c /year thing for about 6months now and it works great (at first anyway).  We have a chore sheet that the kids have to check off each day.  It started great but I have found that now that the novelty of the idea is wearing off that they are not as deligent as before (Even with the allowance as an incentive).  I’ve tried reducing their pay if they didn’t do the chores but it’s still not taking the way I would like it to. 

    One reason might be that we might have too many chores on the list.  I tried to download your chore chart to see what you suggest as chores but couldn’t find it.  Could you please direct me to that.  The link in the blog didn’t take me to it.

    Love the suggestions and look forward to seeing your daily blog.
    Thanks abunch!

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    Tayne,

    I’m sorry for the trouble in finding the Chore Chart link. Here’s the correct link.

    http://www.familyminute.com/tools/get-organized/chore-chart/

    I’ve also updated it in the blog post above. Thanks for your feedback!

  • Paul Higby

    My home wi-fi router creates two separate networks. On one I have the computers, the TVs, etc. On the other I have only my kids’ iPods, nothing else. I change the password on their network every day. When they get home from school it’s, “Want today’s password? Clean room, do homework, practice piano, let the dogs out and feed them (etc).”

    Also: Dave Ramsey’s info on budgeting can be shared with kids. My kids now prefer to earn money, rather than get paid for participating in family chores.