Should Children Be Paid for Chores?

One of the debates that many parents have is whether or not their children’s allowance should be tied to chores and household duties. The debate can get heated on both sides, but I’ll try to give an objective view of both options along with my own opinion.


Chores teach children that work is rewarded with money, just like in the real world. Adults aren’t just given money for doing nothing. They have to work and for that work, they are paid a certain wage. Likewise, a child’s weekly/monthly allowance should be based on whether or not they complete their assigned chores.

This could even be taken a step further by grading the kids on how well the chores are completed. (I actually saw a family on the television show Wife Swap where the kids received less money if the floors weren’t quite clean enough or if their bed sheets weren’t straight enough.)

No Way Man!

Chores are just simply an expected duty that children should perform. Children live in the house and should “earn their keep” by completing routine household duties. There are some things in life that are just done, without an expectation of monetary reward. Adults don’t get paid for washing dishes or cleaning the gutters and neither should kids.

My Opinion?

I think that rewarding chores with cash is a bad idea. Sure, this system will probably work just fine until the child is in high school. Then, they can get a regular job at the mall or start their own business. Once that happens, I would expect the amount of chores being completed will drop down to zero, or close to it.


Because once a teenager is making “real” money (say 10-30 hours a week at minimum wage), they are no longer going to care about their $20 dollar per week allowance. This is especially true if they can work more hours by not taking the time to complete chores.

Now, parents could combat this issue by forcing their kids to do the chores, but that seems to be a bit of a contradiction. If the purpose of tying allowance to chores was to show that you have to work to receive money, then shouldn’t the child be free to decide they don’t want to work, understanding of course that then that they won’t get paid?

I think it makes much more sense for allowance to simply be given to the child, in an effort to teach them smart money management skills. Teach kids from any early age that money should be saved, given, and invested before being spent and those habits are likely to continue on well beyond high school. Chores shouldn’t even be part of the equation. The lesson that there are some things in life that you just do, without payment, is in my eyes much more powerful than learning that work is rewarded with money.

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8 Responses to Should Children Be Paid for Chores?

  1. Alexis November 30, 2011 at 11:38 AM #

    no kids need to learn responsebility

  2. NO WAY JOSE November 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM #

    I don’t think children should get paid for doing chores. Doing the chores is an expected duty,not something to get bribed about. When you get older and older nobody is there to tell you,”I’ll give $20, now go do the loundery. People need to face the real world!!!!!!!!!

  3. swagg January 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM #

    yeah they should because they earned it and plus when they get paid they will start doing it with out being told and they will be responsible.

  4. swagg January 24, 2012 at 6:55 PM #

    i think yes because they will be responsible and they can learn a lesson

  5. Expletive Removed October 2, 2012 at 3:37 PM #

    No, because they already get paid enough just in everyday life. Not in cash but everything their parents already supply them with like the cool clothes they want, nice shoes, cell phone, along with sporting activities (hockey, dirt biking, etc,) Just so much that kids don’t even realize there getting paid with. I’m 16 by the way. I never ever got paid for doing chores, still to this day I don’t get paid, but I always bitched that I should get paid.

    • Ryan October 2, 2012 at 3:57 PM #

      In the future, I’d appreciate if you used a more appropriate name to post under. I have no problem with swearing, but the way you did it in your name was pointless.

  6. Community not pay November 15, 2012 at 8:16 AM #

    I don’t want to pay my kids for chores. We are a family and we need to work together to make our life work smoothly. We are a “team” and need to pitch in on how to keep our household going. If motivation is needed to get the chores done, link it to perk: movie, video time, computer games etc. No one plays on the computer until the chores are done, period. The issue for a lot of families is that this takes more vigilance from parents, it is too easier to bribe them than to suffer through their complaints about not getting to use their ipod !

  7. anthony February 6, 2013 at 10:37 AM #

    i think kids should grt paid because they will learn how to take care of themselvs and learn how to manage their money

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