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Paying for grades and chores!

I know this subject is controversial and touchy, but I think it is an important issue to comment on. The idea is that by paying for grades or chores, children are going to be persuaded to study more, do their chores more thoroughly, and if you are really lucky, learn a little money management in the meantime. The logic makes sense, but in practice it tends not to do any of the previously mentioned.

If you have a compliant child who tends to be motivated to do well in school, paying them is not going to raise their overall GPA and SAT scores in the end. If your child is not of the compliant type, by paying them you may manage to get a little extra study time from them for about two weeks. In the long run it is not going to be the lynch pin that breaks through their poor study habits, rebellious attitude, lazy tendencies, or in some cases their learning disabilities. The second problem is that you may be creating an entitled attitude that ends up making it difficult for them to cope with college and the work force.

Paying your child for chores also makes sense in theory. If you pay they will be more motivated and carry a better attitude because they should obviously want the money. In practice your child doesn’t really need the money so the value is not equal to yours. Again, you may be creating an entitled attitude that over time changes your relationship in the long run. Unless they are truly going into business with you it is not a good idea to create any business-like dynamics between you. That includes paying for chores and grades, money behavior jars, and behavior contracts.

Don’t forget that your greatest influence over your child comes from modeling your morals and values, teaching when your child is open to learning, setting and following through with healthy boundaries, showing that you are happy in the life that you have chosen, and most importantly showing unconditional love. Please notice that nowhere in that list is “payment for services rendered”.

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