There’s no debate that assigning chores to kids is a lifesaver for getting things done around the house and giving children some time direction. Less clear is the relationship between chores and financial education for kids. Although kids might gripe and groan as they do what you want, getting them to finish basic chores has a huge affect on their monetary future.
Having your kids do chores demonstrates the completed task = compensation principle.
When you have kids doing chores on a regular basis, they quickly learn that work is necessary for earning. The understanding that most things in life are not provided for free is a powerful motivator to budget well and to avoid taking things for granted. Additionally, chores teach your children about how a real employer might determine compensation, schedule payments and provide disciplinary action if tasks are not completed up to expectation. When your child finally hits the market, they’ll be well-prepared for corporate procedures.
Teaching kids about money through chores develops personal responsibility.
Children who have chores take praise from parents and caregivers when they do well with the assigned tasks. On the other hand, they also take the heat if they don’t do the chores provided. As children learn that positive reinforcement comes when a job is done well, they learn they have to be responsible in order for others to view them in a good light. This sense of responsibility translates to developing the ability to keep track of money-related items such as credit cards, manage a budget, plan for financing and think critically before making a purchase.
Letting kids do their own chores develops planning skills.
Modern kids don’t have a lot of time to waste between school, their bazillion after-school activities and homework. Adding chores into the mix forces kids to think about when and how they are going to complete tasks—kids get pretty good at this when they realize that efficiency in chores means more time to hang out with friends or just do their own thing at home. Chores also teach planning in that children who receive an allowance or other compensation for chores completed must think about what to do with the money earned.
Providing chores teaches children about value.
Some parents choose to assign a general compensation for chores. For example, they might give a child $10 a week if the child does everything asked. Other parents assign a specific compensation to each task. For example, they might give a child $0.15 for making their bed and $10 for cleaning their entire room. In either method, the child learns that what he is doing has a specific value. This teaches the child their efforts are worth something and that not all jobs necessarily are equal in terms of compensation. Children come to associate the prices of items with the income they have. For instance, they might see that they have to clean their room three times before they can buy a specific game. Later on, this can can motivate children to look for jobs that pay well so they can buy what they need and have the funds to get some enjoyment from life.
Parent/Caregiver Quick Tips
- Financial education for children via chores can start early, such as getting your kids to pick up their toys or put laundry away in low drawers.
- Getting older children to do their chores makes things easier because the younger children follow their older siblings’ leads.
- Be absolutely clear about what you expect for each chore. Children cannot do what you ask if they don’t have a solid sense of their goals or objectives.
- Spot check. Being consistent with chores doesn’t happen overnight. Check in with your child to see how they’re doing and give some gentle reminders about tasks still undone. A chore checklist can provide a visual reminder of everything children have to do and whether those tasks are done.