Do your kids have the right to demand payment for helping around the house?
Call me old-fashioned, but I expect my kids to pull their little weight around the house. This involves fairly straight forward tasks like cleaning their room, bringing in the washing, setting the table and taking out the garbage to name a few. I usually ask them to do something and they do it (sometimes with a suppressed sign). Each week they get a set allowance which doesn’t involve any negotiations or haggling concerning ‘money for work completed’. I just hope that the children of the world never form a trade union because then this parent friendly arrangement could change!
My family isn’t a business so why should I pay my kids every time they help around the house.
About a week ago, I went to my kids weekly school assembly to support the school community but mainly to chat with my posse of school mothers. During the proceedings, we had a presentation from a bank representative who was promoting their kids saving passbook accounts. She had a big cartoon character mascot with her and performed a very enthusiastic presentation that had the students excited. However, at one point she asked the kids to raise their hands if they did chores around the house. Eager hands shot up every where in response to her question. Then she said as she held up colourful ‘prizes’:
‘Tell your parents to give you money for doing your chores around the house. Then you can put the money in your new passport account and you could receive these cool prizes’.
This bank’s pitch was the equivalent of a McDonald’s Happy Meal.
I don’t want to be the fun police but I found the whole thing incredibly manipulative and rather annoying. This major bank was encouraging the students to badger their parents to pay them for completing household chores so that they could then deposit the funds into their bank. All the kids could see were the bright shiny toys that were being waved in front of them and that their parents held the key to them receiving them. You had to hand it to this big bank, it was a clever marketing strategy if you judged it from the excitement that was exhibited by this captivated audience.
Learning the value of money is an important life lesson.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in teaching children the importance of saving their money and my kids each have a little savings account. However, the message that they have a right to expect payment for contributing to their household certainly isn’t something I condone. That evening, I was very happy that my kids didn’t demand payment when I asked them to put their dishes in the sink. Luck for them! They saved themselves from hearing another one of ‘Mummy’s rants’.
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