Many parents expect their children to be responsible for household chores at an early age. Some have strong feelings that children should perform these tasks without compensation.
It's difficult to disagree with the argument that household duties teach even the youngest children how to make a valuable contribution to the family. Parents are entitled to insist that children make beds, empty the dishwasher, take out trash and recycling, set the table, and clean up after themselves. It is also a parental decision as to whether or not allowance should be attached to these chores.
However, children do need to learn the value of money. And things that are learned young are things that get practiced longest. So why not pay your child for extra jobs if they are capable of handling them? Not only does it help them learn about earning, saving and spending money, compensating children helps them to learn how to manage money.
Jobs for kids give them the opportunity to acquire experience in offering products and services, creating their own savings funds and many more important tools in the context of money management. Responsibility instills a strong work ethic and feelings of independence. Creating business sense in our children is a modern world skill that should be encouraged from an early age. Who knows? You could nurture the next Forbes richest woman or man and get help around your house.
Here are some ideas for jobs for kids that are fun and will keep them motivated:
- Babysitter – watching either the neighbors' kids or your own.
- Car Detailer - washing or helping to wash cars.
- Pet manager - walking, feeding, brushing or playing outside with the family dog or a neighbor's.
- Homework helper - assisting younger siblings with assignments or projects.
- Kitchen organizer - helping fix messy drawers, cupboards or pantry.
- Swiffer - sweeping and dusting.
- Laundry valet - matching unmatched socks from the dryer; carrying folded laundry to everyone's bedroom.
- Plant feeder - watering plants (outdoors of course).
You can incorporate accounting lessons by teaching basic bookkeeping. Use a Choreganizer system to keep track of completed and paid/unpaid chores.
In addition to monetary compensation, don't forget to praise their efforts and express your gratitude. Children love to hear that their hard work is appreciated and important.
It may not be fun for you in the beginning since it's faster to do these things yourself. You'll need to do plenty of modeling to make sure the chore is completed the way you expect it to get done. Keep the ages of your kids in mind so that your expectations are not unreasonable.
Also if how much time you spend reminding (nagging) them to do their jobs exceeds the benefits, you may need to temporarily abandon the idea and revisit it when your children are old enough to handle jobs. But try to keep in mind that with responsibility comes an increased sense of self value. Kids love to know that they are important to the household.