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The value of work

September 1st, 2009

In the previous post, I talked about whether we should pay our children to do chores. I gave my take on it, which is not to say that it’s the perfect way to do it.

The question now is, “If we don’t pay our children for regular chores, what about paying them for extra chores that are above and beyond the daily expectations?”

If you read my previous posts about teaching your children about money, our children do not really need to have very much extra spending money.  I am paying for everything they need and most of what they want as well.

However, I agree that there are circumstances where our children need and want some control of their own money. Especially as they get older, we should allow more opportunities for our children to exercise decision- making in their purchases.

Here is how I approach the question posed above.

Let’s say your child wants to buy a $1000 guitar, and you think a $200 guitar would work just as well. There is no need to argue about it. You should provide opportunities for him to work for the extra $800 doing something that you would normally hire someone to do.

I spend $8 at a car wash to clean my car. We pay $15 per hour for a housekeeper to clean the bathrooms and windows. The gardener charges $100 to pull the weeds from the hillside. My children can do those extra work to earn money, and I’m wiling to pay them the same rate even though they are not professionals and their work will likely be…substandard. However, there is a minimum quality required, and clear expectations should be discussed in advance. I’ll even add a tip for a job well done.

In addition, our children can use these same skills to get jobs from friends and neighbors to earn money too. Perhaps the motivation for that $1000 guitar will tap into their latent entrepreneurial spirit.

It’s not easy for me to earn $800, and our children will see that it is not easy for them to earn $800 either. Along the way of working towards a guitar, I hope they learn the value of money, of pride in their abilities to work, a strong work ethic, and the satisfaction of owning something they worked for themselves.

You may be interested in reading the previous posts in this series:

Teaching Children About Money

Teaching Children to Set Priorities for Spending

Should We Pay Our Children to do Chores?

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  1. […] We’ll talk about that in the next post, The Value of Work. […]

  2. yes there is a wronge or right anwser and the right anwser is no they shoul not get paid for doing chores


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