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Why We Pay Our Kids To Do Chores


I’m still kind of new to this whole parenting thing – after all, my oldest is only four (and yet, he’s already four – where did time go!), so naturally, I find myself devouring parenting advice like it’s going out of style. 

I’ve read both pros and cons to paying your kids to do chores, here’s why we decided to go ahead and set up paid chores in our family in lieu of buying toys for them.

Why we pay our kids to do chores. I know it's controversial, but I think it's well worthwhile!

Why We Pay Our Kids To Do Chores

  1. It gives them an incentive. Let’s face it: working isn’t really any fun if there’s no reward. When they work and get paid for it, they can choose their own reward – Garrett is currently saving up for a super cool (in his opinion) remote controlled truck, and because of that, he’s always looking for more ways to work and make money.
  2. It gives them value. I’ve found that getting paid for doing some chores, makes Garrett a lot more willing to do other, non-paid work. I believe that getting paid has made him realize that his work is valuable, and that when he helps, he’s really, truly contributing.
  3. It teaches them to manage money. I have often heard people ask why money management isn’t taught in school, but my question is, why aren’t parents teaching their children to manage money from the get-go? Because we’re paying him to do chores, we now have a four-year-old who understands on his little pre-school level, the power of money, and managing it correctly. 
  4. It creates teaching moments with our kids. When Garrett wants to go spend his money on a milkshake at Sonic, or course, we will probably let him if he really wants to – it is his money after all – but it also gives us the opportunity to talk to him about his choice, helping him to understand that a  milkshake costs about at much as taking out the trash, and helping daddy wash the car, and ask him if it’s worth that to him, and also, because he is little and forgets, we make sure he understands that buying an ice cream – which will be gone in minutes – will delay his getting that thing he’s been saving up for so long to get. 
  5. It sparks the entrepreneurial fire. There’s nothing I enjoy much more than seeing kids scheme about how they’re going to make a lot of money. I love seeing that motivation! I want to raise kids who are self-motivated, and always looking for opportunities to make their dreams come true. I can’t wait until Garrett starts dragging me out to help him set up a lemonade stand some day!

Those five little, and not so little reasons, make it well worth my while to spend extra time supervising, explaining, and letting my kids help when it would be so much faster and easier just to do it myself. 

Chores we pay our kids for:

  1. Taking out the trash
  2. Washing the car (helping anyway ;))
  3. Vacuuming daddy’s shop
  4. Anything that leads to one of us getting paid (such as helping us feed pigs)

Things we do not pay our kids for:

  1. washing dishes
  2. picking up toys
  3. cleaning up after meals
  4. making beds
  5. laundry
  6. feeding their dog
  7. Almost anything that is considered family chores

Your turn: Do you pay your kids to do chores?

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