To earn rewards for chores sounds like bribery
...but it isn't if kids earn rewards according to a well defined system that they understand. Saying to your child "If you (insert favorite chore here), then I'll give you (insert reward here)" is more like bribery. ...and you know you do that more often than you mean to. Why not create a system of rewards that is tied to proper behavior instead?
To earn rewards, or not to earn rewards, that is the question. There are some parents who, rightfully, believe that their children should just DO their household chores with no regard or expectation of a reward. This is especially true of personal tasks like brushing teeth, hair, etc.
I thought the same thing
...and in a perfect world with perfect children this could be the case. (I have actually met some parents who have children like this! ...not mine!)
You may choose for your child to earn rewards or not based upon your own unique household situation. Some families get along quite well indeed just by using the chore list or chore chart as a reminder for the child.
"Rewards" does not have to mean "Cash"
Remember that rewards DO NOT have to be cash! "Paying" for proper behavior and for chores around the house could mean redeeming fun activities with Mom and Dad (like playing a game together, or going for a bike ride). Usually the non-monetary rewards are much more desirable and effective with children, so use them and your whole family will benefit.
Valuable lessons can be learned
There are valuable lessons that can be learned when using a consistent reward system. But if your rewards are inconsistent, out of context, or whimsical then you will eventually undermine the system anyway... so be consistent!
Do you trust me?
Think about this: If you were unsure each week of what your dollar could buy, would it weaken your trust in the US economic system? Of course it would!
The same is true of your reward system with your child’s chores. You may think I am over-stating this a little bit, but think about it: If you are like me and a million other parents out there, you regularly (probably reluctantly) use rewards (some call them bribes!) to influence your child’s behavior.
I refer to these as “pot-shot” rewards simply because they are not tied together with any sense of relative value of the work performed and they are not in context with each other.
Create your own economy!
You should seize this opportunity to create your own economy, so to speak, and control your own economic system. That’s what I did!
How will your young child learn about money?
A consistent reward system provides a unique insight into your child’s thinking with regard to money. My oldest child is definitely a "saver", while my middle child spends his tokens almost as fast as he gets them. Hmmmm... Now that is good information!