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I have 3 daughters. My 18 yr old is in college and doesn't live at home. But my other 2 daughters, ages 9yrs and 14 yrs old want an allowance. They have asked to do chores for money. What chores are appropriate for their ages? I'm a stay at home mom and do most of the house work. How many chores and how often should the girls be expected to do them and should I pay them an "allowance"? I had to help around the house as a kid, my mom was a single parent and worked. So I guess I tried to "spare/spoil" my kids. But feel they should help more around the house now. The few times I tell them to help they get all grumpy and/or whiney and it irritates me. Any advice is welcome


Rachel Russo Replied: Your intentions are good and very normal, as it is quite common for parents to want to spare their children of something they experienced negatively from their own childhood. You may see the benefits in giving your daughters more responsibility for both you and them.

The first thing to do is make a list of everything that you need to do around the house on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Mark tasks that can be delegated to your daughters. Decide which chores would be appropriate for each of them by considering their own unique contexts- age, skills, time available,etc. Then decide how much money you are willing to pay them for these tasks.

Sit down and chat with your daughters about what you could use help with. Give them the list of tasks and let them choose from your options. Allowing them to choose sends them the message that you value their opinions. If the decisions are made collaboratively, you are likely to encounter less grumpiness from both daughters- most especially your adolescent who is in a stage where she needs to assert her independence.

Posted On 2009-02-17 12:22:29
Ellen Gibran-Hesse Replied: I am so glad that you are looking to do this while they are young! I have to deal with parents who failed to pass on these life skills and now have grumpy adult children expecting to do no chores but be given money. I too grew up in hard times and wanted better for my sons, but the fact is that chores and money management are two extremely important life skills that young people need. I started my sons with allowances in kindergarten. They had to learn to save for special toys because if you spent it all, you couldn't buy anthing until the next time. By the time my sons were your daughter's ages, they had to purchase some of their clothes (I'd give them $50 for shoes and if they wanted more expensive, they had to come up with the extra, etc.) They quickly learned about sales and the value of a dollar. Tie the allowance to what you want them to pay for such as luxury items, some clothes, entertainment, and the like. Maybe $10 a week for the 9 yr. old and $15 for the 14 yr. old. Work it out together. It is critical that they learn to keep their rooms "orderly" and clean, do some laundry, have days to do dishes, etc. Their brains are growing until they are 25 or later and what you are doing is helping to create the pathways that help them order their lives and be responsible to others. If you like, do some of the chores together initially and make it a bonding experience. Make sure that you thank them and ask them politely telling them that it would really help you. They should lose the grumpiness down the line but if it continues, take an attitude fine out of the allowance. In the workplace, attitude is important. Some books out there on children and money are listed below. It is your job as a parent for this age group to help them learn to do for others, manage work and money. These are critical life skills and good for you to know instinctively that it needs to be done.
Posted On 2009-02-16 18:52:31
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