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Pay kids to do chores or no?

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limitgov Posted: Sun, Mar 24 2013 11:11 AM

Should you pay your kids to do chores?  Or should you have them just do the chores without getting paid?

Does it teach kids business sense to pay them for chores?

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Does it teach kids business sense to pay them for chores?

Not if they have no competition and the price is arbitrarily set by the central planner (you). Well, it may teach them how to deal with authorities.

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Blargg replied on Sun, Mar 24 2013 12:38 PM

Unless you have more than one kid, then you can let them compete for the work. If there is more than one parent, they could each independently offer amounts, so that there's also competition among sellers.

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gotlucky replied on Sun, Mar 24 2013 2:27 PM

The point of chores is to help keep the house (or business if it's a family business) running. Don't create artificial reasons for kids to do chores. They can see through that. A lower class family has legitimate reasons for the children to do chores or get a job while still in high school. They understand that certain things need to get done. Middle class and upper class families might not have the same pressing issues (probably don't).

If you want kids to learn some responsibility, make sure at the very least they take care of what they do around the house. They can clean up after they eat. If they don't do dishes everyday (or ever, I suppose), at the very least they can scrape off uneaten food into the trash and rinse off their plates so that cleaning the dishes is easier for whoever will do it next. They can not leave food or toys or clothes or whatever lying about the house. It's simply stuff like that.

One thing I noticed growing up from observing my family and other families was that the parents who made their kids do chores so that they wouldn't have to do anything made their kids resent them. Obviously one or both parents are working so that everyone can live in that house (or unit), but most young children do not get that (at least middle class and upper class). Saying, "Go mow the lawn, pull weeds, put out mulch, etc., oh and I don't have to because I work so that we can all live here" isn't a very convincing argument to make to a 8 or 9 year old. You want your front yard to look nice, chip in. Fortunately for me, my parents didn't pull that shit. My mom was active in trying to make the yard look nice, and I was expected to help sometimes (my sister somehow got out of it). It wasn't like they were forcing me to do anything that they wouldn't do themselves.


Tl;dr: Kids should at the very least be doing the upkeep for what they interact with. Don't be artifical about their chores, because they can see through it, and it won't teach them anything but possible resentment. If you want them to learn the value of working, have them get a job while in high school.

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Meistro replied on Sun, Mar 24 2013 2:33 PM

Pay them for chores and charge them for meals and school supplies.  If they go bankrupt kick them out and tell them to go freeload somewhere else.

 

... just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own - Albert Jay Nock

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gotlucky replied on Sun, Mar 24 2013 2:34 PM

lol

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depends on the kid, situation, and what lesson or virtue you are trying to teach him.

In general though, learning to appreciat money, savings, work, and value tends to be a good thing.  Many kids tend to enjoy this kind of thing (in retrospect, I did) - many kids find it even more awesome when they get their 1st bank account.

 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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eliotn replied on Sun, Mar 24 2013 2:57 PM

Possibly relevant:

http://sandradodd.com/chores/intro

http://joyfullyrejoycing.com/influencing%20kid%20behavior/chores/tyingallowancetochores.html

From the second link:

"Setting up a pretend situation to teach someone a lesson rarely teaches them the lesson we want them to learn. If you have the ability to give someone something and you make them jump through some arbitrary hoop to get it, you're teaching them that having power rocks and lacking power sucks."

"It sounds like good training for the business world. But unlike a real job where someone has choices about what type of work to do and the atmosphere they like to work in, the work available at home is limited to what the parent is willing to pay for. That's fine and resembles the working world if the child wants to earn extra money. But as a sole source of income it doesn't resemble real life at all."

Schools are labour camps.

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gotlucky replied on Sun, Mar 24 2013 3:08 PM

Also relevant:

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lol, that same conversation happened to m with dishwasher, snowblower, leafblower, and gas weedwacker - and of course an assortment of dangerous powertools a 13 yr old boy ought not be using.

anyway, we need a Calvin and Hobbes thread now

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Marko replied on Sun, Mar 24 2013 3:21 PM

As I child I hated being given a chore I would have to do right away. I demanded to be told my chores at least a few days in advance so that I could anticipate them and possibly do them when it was the most convenient for me.

Offering me money wouldn't have really motivated me, since I always demanded to be given money for birthday rather than presents, and I never spent any, so that in child terms I was loaded with money.

I think giving them money is a good thing, whether you want to justify it to them as a reward for doing chores or just freely-given pocket money. It may help teach them about managing and appreciating money.

Also if they're anything like I was they may appreciate a chores schedule which assigns them responsibilities, but allows them to perform them at their own leisure, or at least to anticipate them in advance. That way they can also be their own time managers.

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Mar 24 2013 5:18 PM

My personal preference would be not to do that. I think that it's useful to not pay them for various reasons.

1) They will not always get paid in life to do something. You often get non-monetary benefits for a lot of hard work. Sometimes hard work goes unappreciated (but must be done).

2) It loosens the concept of family and self-sacrifice for family members. I am not a person who champions the family structure as a means of social organization  - that is, I don't think it's the end-all-be-all of society and I am not willing to force other people to accept the family structure (I use "force" loosely - not in the sense of aggression); however, I personally find family to be important for me. I think that it's a good idea to help family members who are not flat-out irresponsible. That's one of the ideas of family - they're there for you no matter what.

3) It makes for some entitled brats :P Imagine asking them to take out the trash one day and they're like "how much?"

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Malachi replied on Sun, Mar 24 2013 5:37 PM

I think gotlucky's answer was best so let me just add my opinion to what he said. it is is personal preference and since there is nothing wrong with hiring strangers to do housework, theres nothing wrong with hiring your own family, assuming you can afford it. but you should be prepared for them to treat it like a job and quit one day, you cant make them work and pretend its a job, it just sounds creepy and schizo. they can get a real job and build an actual resume, instead of ironing your slacks or whatever.

personally I favor the carlos slim plan where the kids had an allowance upon some conditions: they had to keep a budget and they had to have savings and investments. thats why he is a billionaire.

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Blowing your weekly allowance on day one teaches you the importance of saving money.

As far as paying a kid for doing chores, I would say that a better approach would be to have the kid work for something that it wants. For example, say that the kid comes to you and says, "can I have a video game?" You should say, "sure. I'll give you the money for the video game in exchange for you doing such and such chores or other work."

 

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Wheylous replied on Mon, Mar 25 2013 8:57 AM

For example, say that the kid comes to you and says, "can I have a video game?" You should say, "sure. I'll give you the money for the video game in exchange for you doing such and such chores or other work."

That's a good point. I think that's not a bad idea.

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Meistro replied on Mon, Mar 25 2013 10:19 AM

Then to teach your kids about taxation and wealth redistribution randomly take stuff away from them and give it to the kid down the street.  Punish them for harshly for minor transgressions and when they object tell them that ignorance is not an excuse and if they don't like it they can move to Detroit.

 

... just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own - Albert Jay Nock

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Blargg replied on Mon, Mar 25 2013 11:52 AM

But what about teaching the kids about welfare? Show them that if they act dependent and unable to care for themselves, that you'll just give them money no strings attached. If they have siblings, then you can publicly take it from their piggy bank to show who pays for it.

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Meistro replied on Mon, Mar 25 2013 11:54 AM

That's right.  Offer them an allowance of $10 a week.  Then offer them $2 to do a chore.  When they do the chore, take $10 out of their piggy bank, cut off their allowance and accuse them of cheating the system.

 

... just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own - Albert Jay Nock

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gotlucky replied on Mon, Mar 25 2013 12:10 PM

Teach Your Children Well by Joseph Sobran

You guys will like it.

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That's right.  Offer them an allowance of $10 a week.  Then offer them $2 to do a chore.  When they do the chore, take $10 out of their piggy bank, cut off their allowance and accuse them of cheating the system.

lol.

But tell them it's for a good cause because you're a bleeding heart liberal....than get celebrities to say how cool you and your cause are, and what a greedy SOB your kid would be if he wanted the money, bombard him with favorable media to your cause and question him and what he does in every way possible - and if he argues or objects call him a "petite bourgoise" and if he isn't part of the revolution he's part of the problem. 

If he buys into it (that is, if he is a "social element")  take him to the nearest coffee house, teach him about the different kinds of coffee and teach him how to writet manifestos for the good cause, and how to get grant money for some crazy ass degree in college - ahh, comrad bonding.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Hairnet replied on Tue, Mar 26 2013 12:48 AM

Its in the interest of the kid to help out his parents. Being extra burdensome to the people who are educating you seems like a bad idea. 

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Then to teach your kids about taxation and wealth redistribution randomly take stuff away from them and give it to the kid down the street.  Punish them for harshly for minor transgressions and when they object tell them that ignorance is not an excuse and if they don't like it they can move to Detroit.

On a serious note, trying to teach kids by first hand experience culminates in jumping into a pool of crocodiles to learn the danger of predators. 

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jdkdsgn replied on Tue, Mar 26 2013 6:32 AM

Edward Deci and Richard Ryan developed a branch of psychology called Self-Determination theory which stated that for task-oriented work, monetary rewards serve their purpose. More money = better performance. Of note: in any task that requires even the smallest bit of creative thought, money tended to degrade performance.

Here's my opinion: if you want your kid to do chores, give him an allowance that is variable based on performance. If you get it right, a lower allowance will have him working harder for a bigger allowance. Likewise, a higher allowance will make him feel rewarded, and appreciated.

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