We have three little kids in our family. We are constantly trying to get them to clean their room, pickup their toys…the list goes on. In the past we had a chore system that worked pretty well. If kids did their chores for the day, they got up to 2 “checks” per day (one for the morning and one for the evening). If they did chores 70% of the time (10 checks in a week), they got to choose a reward: $2 cash, a treat from the local bakery, etc. It was good in that they were motivated to do chores, and it was teaching them some delayed gratification. For example, our daughter saved for about 10 weeks to save up and buy a $20 barbie doll. As a financial planner, I was thrilled by this behavior!!
In recent months, we’ve slacked on the “chore system.” In looking to reboot again, I ran across this article on www.businessinsider.com. The article talks about how paying kids for chores may teach kids to be entitled for activities they should already be doing (ie pitching in to help with household jobs). It may also stifle their innate desire to “help out.”
As a financial planner, I still want to teach my kids the positive elements of delayed gratification and saving for goals; however, I do think there is some truth in the above referenced article. Maybe a combination of non-paid daily tasks with occasional paid chores will give the best outcome – Teaching kids they’re a member of a larger community/household and that they need to pull their own weight while also teaching them the rewards of saving and delayed gratification.
Parents: How do you teach your kids delayed gratification? How do you teach your kids duty?