I recently shared this chore chart image on my Facebook page because I thought it was clever and cute.
In response though I got a few unfavorable comments regarding paying children to do chores. These were some of the responses…
“Um, NO. Kids don’t get paid for being a contributing member of the family pulling their own weight.”
“This is a bad idea. Cleaning and picking up after ones self is just part of being alive and part of a family or community. This sets up an unrealistic expectation.”
“And who will pay them to do all this when they have their own home?”
“My kids do their chores because they have to…… what is wrong with today’s society?”
I completely disagree with them.
I shared this photo because I actually plan to copy it in my own home because I do pay my kids to do chores…sort of. I expect my kids to maintain their own bedrooms and in general pick up after themselves without pay. They don’t get paid to vacuum their rooms, bring their dirty clothes to the laundry room, or sweep up the cereal they spilled all over the kitchen floor. Things like those are expected and required but not paid for. There is no allowance.
On the weekend, we also have a family cleanup. Parents and kids alike all start cleaning the house from top to bottom. Either Mom or Dad is captain and we give out the orders. Carpets are vacuumed, loose toys are put away, dishes are brought to the kitchen, countertops are cleaned off, shelves are dusted, library books are re-stacked, etc. During garden season someone is required to go water. No one is paid for this group cleaning. This is part of the responsibility we have as a family and a team to take care of our home. The great thing about it though it that is takes 10-15 minutes we because we are working as a team.
Okay so maybe it sounds like I don’t agree with pay for chores huh?
No, no. I do. The kids can all do extra work if they so choose, to earn money. My 15 year old actually earns a nice chunk of money weekly. He fully cleans the kitchen and does all the dishes daily. He takes out the garbage and the compost. He mops the hardwood floors. He cleans all three bathrooms and scrubs the toilets and showers. For this and more he earns money to pay for the extras he has in his life that mom and dad will not pay for…like an iPhone. He also saves up money for larger ticket items he wants, like his crossbow and all the fishing gear he has. At the moment he is saving for his first car.
My middle child will do all the laundry for pay, though right now she is not consistent about it. When she too is old enough in mom’s estimation to have a smartphone she too will be required to earn the money for it. For her and for my youngest I think this chore chart would be a great way for them to earn some money and to get a few extras around the house taken care of.
It teaches them responsibility either way in my opinion. They are learning just by living in our household that cleaning and maintaining the house has to be done. They are also learning work ethic by working for pay. They are learning that they can work hard and earn money. They are learning that their work has to meet certain standards. They are learning to pay for their own wants because someday they WILL have to pay for their own wants and their own needs.
We really only gift them with things for birthdays and holidays. Other wants can be had if they work for them. They have a source of income if they want it and therefore a method to pay for the things they want. That is responsibility. This chart I think will be good for my two youngest who don’t have the desire to do regular weekly work like their older brother. It would give them the opportunity to earn a little bit here and there when they want to.
I think I have found a good balance in our family. After all, their main job right now is to go to school and give me a good solid effort there. Then they have some responsibilities at home that need to be met without pay and whenever they want to do them, as long as they get done. Then we have some overtime work-for-pay available and it works well in our house if my oldest is any indication. That kid has hustle and some serious work ethic. That is the goal right?