The Value of Chores
The Value of Chores
Today in Chicago is a snow day. The Kiddos jumped for joy when they learned that their school doors would not be opening this morning. Yours truly, however, was not so lucky. I had a morning chocked-full of patient visits and meetings. By 9am, I had already driven fifty miles in snow laden streets, and visited three different nursing homes. My car begrudgingly draggled down the last few blocks to return me safely home. I had a few calls to make for my Telehealth gig, On the way, I noticed something funny that made me ponder the value of chores.
House after house, street after street, there were middle-aged men and women shoveling the snow. In fact, I counted ten sets of adults in one short city block. Stuck home by the weather, I assume they wanted to make the most of a lost day.
But where were the kids? They weren’t at school. All the schools are closed.
Are the kids socked away in front of a screen somewhere, enjoying the luxury of heat and hot chocolate? What happened to teaching the value of chores? Why are we indulging our children with video games, and then doing all the hard work by ourselves?
We Don’t Do Weekly Allowance
As I discussed in an earlier post, we don’t do allowance in our household. We give the kids a yearly stipend to cover their costs, and to use as they please. This money helps with basic necessities. On occasion, we offer opportunities to go above and beyond, and earn a little extra something.
The care of ourselves and our house, however, is not something we bribe the kids with money to do. They live in our house, it is their responsibility to take care of it.
So it is expected that my kids will be out on a snow day with shovel in hand. Not only are they responsible for our lawn, but we encourage them to help others in the neighborhood that need an extra hand.
The same goes for making beds, putting away groceries, and general cleaning.
Personal Finance Starts With Responsibility
Teaching children about personal finance concerns much more than just understanding dollars and cents. We also need to help them understand both the monetary and emotional gain of doing hard work. Without instilling in them the value of chores at a young age, it is hard for them to develop personal responsibility as adults.
It comes down to expectation. We expect them to be engaged and give a helping hand. This is not something they should receive a bribe for. It’s their responsibility as part of the household.
You’ll be glad to know that when I pulled up to the garage, my son was on his way out of the house carrying a shovel. There is tons of snow out there!
If you live in the midwest like I do, be sure to drive safely!