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Paying for Chores

By Jodie Lynn


My husband insists on paying the kids, a 10-year-old boy and 8-year-old girl, for every little chore. I think they need to do some things without pay. How can I convince him that he is setting himself up for a bad time in their teens when it comes to money and chores?


We have three kids who have specific chores listed on a chart on the kitchen pantry. Each one receives some form of payment for doing a job if it is done correctly the first time. The youngest is four, so he mainly gets stickers that add up to an event that either his dad or I, or both, take him to. For example, when he reaches ten star stickers, he can choose a movie or activity for us to attend. However, the older two, ages, 10 and 8, will receive money. If we have to have them redo a job, the amount goes down each time. It teaches them to do a good job and feel proud of their accomplishments. - Dale and Pam C. in New York City, NY


I think paying kids for chores is fine. However, paying for every little thing they do may not be to your, or their, benefit. It is important that kids learn to do specific things in the family for non-payment and do so as a contribution to the family as a successful unit. For example, picking up their clothes and putting them in the laundry hamper, helping to bring in the groceries, setting the dinner table or helping to clear it and other small but significant efforts that help a family run more smoothly and save on time. Personally, I wholeheartedly agree with you. If a monetary payment is expected for every effort and each chore, as they grow older, the amount will also be expected to increase even for the tiniest one. Talk to your husband and help him to see that kids need to be responsible for everyday chores just to be a helpful part of the family. It helps to build good character and self-esteem and although they may not realize it at the time, it makes them feel good about themselves for just giving back to the family as a whole.

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Our 18-year-old son has an academic scholarship to utilize at various colleges of his choice. He recently mentioned that he was not interested in going to college but to a trade school. His dad and several relatives are quite upset. If this is really what he wants to do, I think he should. How do I convince other people to allow him to pursue his own choice without feeling guilty for letting others down?

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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