As your children age, they become more capable of handling responsibilities, following directions, and helping around the house. Depending on your child’s age, they can help with sorting the laundry, sweeping the floor, putting away their toys, or cleaning their room. While having your kids do chores can lighten your workload, you might wonder if it’s appropriate to give them an allowance in return for their hard work. That’s why our Crème de la Crème team is here to help. 

As a provider of whole-child-focused programs filled with play and education, we value the skills and traits that chores help children build, such as teamwork and self-esteem. However, the perks of earning an allowance can be short-lived. Ultimately, deciding to pay your child for chores should align with your parenting style, family values, and the specific skills you want to nurture in your child. Weigh the pros and cons of this approach to make the best decision for your family, and schedule a tour at your local Crème de la Crème to discover more ways to support your child’s development.

What Are the Benefits of Paying Your Child an Allowance?

A young child hanging up a garment as part of doing chores.

No matter the amount you pay, your child will develop important skills and learn valuable lessons by receiving an allowance for doing chores. Here are some benefits of paying your child an allowance:

  • Your child will learn essential life skills: Earning an allowance for doing chores gives children an example of what life is like for an adult. They’ll learn about responsibility, problem-solving, and coping mechanisms. Plus, they’ll build an understanding of the connection between work and money and practice money management with your guidance.
  • Your child will know how to follow directions: This skill is crucial not just for their success in school but also for their future adult life, where following instructions is a key part of any job or task.
  • Your child will learn the importance of taking care of things: By completing chores and receiving a reward, your child will gain an understanding of how to care for things, whether it involves washing the car, organizing their belongings, or feeding and walking the family pet.
  • Your child will discover the value of teamwork: Much like playing sportswhen your child does chores, they learn how to be a valuable member of a team. No chore or reward is too small when your family works together.

What Are the Downsides of Paying Your Child an Allowance?

Here are some cons to consider that may deter you from paying your child an allowance:

  • Rewards may not have lasting long-term effects: When children are offered a consistent reward for doing chores, it’s sometimes ineffective at improving the quality of their work. This can lead to them being unsuccessful at completing future tasks.
  • Receiving an allowance can create temporary compliance: Your child may default to completing chores only if you continue paying them, making it difficult to readjust the allowance payment system or cease payments.
  • Allowances can prohibit intrinsic motivation: This motivation comes from joy created by completing a task. For example, you could instill in your child that completing chores is good because it helps the family and keeps the home clean and smelling nice. Paying your child an allowance can prevent them from developing this natural motivation, which can hinder their development later in life.

How Much Allowance Should Kids Earn for Completing Chores?

A good rule of thumb for how much to pay your child for completing chores is 50 cents to $1 per week for each year of their age. Suppose your child is 8 years old; their allowance would be between $4 and $8 per week.

When Should Kids Start Earning an Allowance for Doing Chores?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to when kids should start earning an allowance for doing chores. It’s a decision that depends on your family’s lifestyle and the age-appropriateness of the chores. However, it’s never too early to start teaching financial responsibility. Even children as young as 5 can begin to earn an allowance for doing chores. And if your child is younger yet capable of completing simple tasks, you could introduce them to the concept of earning with an alternative payment method.

What Are the Alternatives to Paying Your Child an Allowance?

If you like the benefits of paying your child an allowance but want to have a bit more control over the situation or avoid an active payment plan, consider some allowance alternatives. These alternatives are excellent compromises that still offer a reward for your child’s contribution to the success of their household:

  • Set a high-end goal: Instead of weekly allowances, you could establish a high-end goal for your child. For example, if they do a specified number of chores for an entire month, they might earn an all-expenses-paid movie night with their friends or a toy they’ve had their eye on for a while. Your child will be motivated to complete their chores to receive this reward.
  • Create a grocery allowance: A great allowance alternative to paying your kids for doing chores is creating a grocery budget in which they can spend money on special treats. This option gives you more control, as you may already have a monthly grocery budget and can afford to add a few extra items your child loves. 
  • Develop a written tab: If you opt for a cash allowance but don’t have the funds on allowance day, you can keep a written record of what you owe. This ongoing tab can be useful when your child wants a new shirt or lunchbox. You can buy it for them and subtract the amount from their tab.

Further Your Child’s Development at Crème de la Crème

Whether or not you pay your child an allowance, there’s still a lot for them to gain by doing chores. Completing chores develops their motor skills, problem-solving abilities, teamwork, and organization. If you want to keep building these vital life skills, sign your child up at a Crème de la Crème facility. We value the whole-child approach with our research-based curriculums and fun, engaging programs, including art, music, and theater to inspire their creativity. Schedule a tour at a facility near you to discover what’s in store.

Little girl doing housework in room by Alex Green is licensed with Pexels License