Should allowance be tied to chores?
This is a hot topic. There are experts and strong opinions weighing in on both sides of this topic. However, there is a 3rd option!
The 3rd Option - the sweet spot
We should do both. I don't know how we ever got to this either or camp but I argue that somewhere in between is the sweet spot.
When I was first designing my chore chart for my kids I had the unlikely but fortunate opportunity to share my chore chart ideas with a leading Pediatric Neuropsychologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN, Michael Zaccariello, Ph.D, L.P.. Now to be fair he doesn't know that I went on to create it into a retail product, at the time I didn't know that was in my future either, but I want to share what he said because it was in complete support of this 3rd option.
I shared with him what we were doing at home and I wanted to know what he thought of rewarding children for chores, not all chores but some chores. He said "I think what you are doing is perfect! Children learn with extrinsic motivation at first and the more they do it then it turns into intrinsic motivation." He went on to explain some examples such as when your child first smiles at you, you smile back, or when they say their first words or use the potty you give them an excited show of support which in-turn provides the child the extrinsic motivation. After successes of receiving positive responses of extrinsic motivation a child starts to associate the feeling of the positive rewards received with the event that caused them and thus turning it into intrinsic motivation. Essentially giving rewards now does not mean that your child will always feel a need to receive an external reward for a chore in order to have a positive association with doing chores.
Rewards are not always about money $$
I find that rewards tend to fall into three main categories, money, screen time, and then there is what I call a family store. A family store can be virtually anything that might appeal to your child such as play dough, water toys, a craft, or spending special time with mom or dad, having a friend over, or picking what's for dinner.
Chores to reward and chores not to reward
Have you ever had that one thing that you just wish your child would do!? Maybe it was brushing teeth or getting dressed but whatever it was you thought I WOULD GIVE ANYTHING IF ONLY my child would....
Being Consistent and Specific with Chores
Experts agree that it is best to be consistent and specific with your children. This sounds easy but truly determining exactly what you expect can be a real challenge. It is also best to give short and easy to follow instructions. So if your expectation for them sweeping the kitchen also includes the breakfast bar area then you need to communicate this, or maybe having them put their clean clothes away means that their tops go in the top drawer and bottoms in the bottom drawer.
How do you create a chore system that manages all this?
There are many chore charts on the market and most are essentially all the same in the fact that they allow you to create a list of chores. These types of systems don't work very well; they are more like a flat file than a database. They only provide a list but give you no way of managing all the variables that are truly needed for a good chore system.
Still not sure if NEATLINGS is the right chore system for your family? Consider this...
It is scientifically proven by a Harvard Grant Study that kids that do chores when they are young are more likely to become successful adults.
Notice that the number one indicator was not a persons IQ but whether or not they did CHORES as a child.
In fact science has also proven that the best age for kids to start doing chores is between the ages of 3-4 years old. At this early age most kids can't yet read so it is important to have an easy to manage system with pictures so that your kids can be successful knowing what is expected of them and what their chores are. If your kids are already past that age do not worry but make a plan and get them started ASAP.
Are you ready to set your kids up for success and cultivate contributing, confident, can-do kids with NEATLINGS?
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.
I'm a born and raised big city girl who decided to move to a small town so that my husband could follow his dreams of being a farmer. I'm not ready to move to a farm place as my husband would like but we compromised on a darling small town, with heartwarming people, a beautiful community, and an absolutely fabulous school. With the move I left my fortune 500 career and became a stay at home mom to my 3 wonderful children.