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The way American parents think about chores

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by studegator, Jun 14, 2019 at 10:19 AM.

  1. studegator

    studegator Junior

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    The Way American Parents Think About Chores Is Bizarre - The Atlantic - Pocket

    “In behavioral psychology, this is called positive reinforcement,” she wrote. “And it works.”

    Does it? A range of experts I consulted expressed concern that tying allowance very closely to chores, whatever its apparent short-term effectiveness, can send kids unintentionally counterproductive messages about family, community, and personal responsibility. In fact, the way chores work in many households worldwide points to another way, in which kids get involved earlier, feel better about their contributions, and don’t need money as an enticement.

    Suniya Luthar, a psychologist at Arizona State University who studies families, is skeptical of the idea of paying kids on a per-chore basis. “How sustainable is it if you’re going to pay a child a dime for each time he picks up his clothes off the floor?” she says. “What are you saying—that you’re owed something for taking care of your stuff?”

    Luthar is not opposed to giving allowances, but she thinks it’s important to establish that certain core chores are done not because they’ll lead to payment, but because they keep the household running. “It’s part of what you do as a family,” Luthar says. “In a family, no one’s going to pay you to tie your own shoes or to put your clothes away.” Whatever the approach, she adds, it’s important to acknowledge that parenting is confusing and exhausting work, and it can be difficult to broker household labor agreements without ever resorting to bribery of some sort.

    Luthar’s suggested approach to allowance is compatible with the regimen that the New York Times personal-finance columnist Ron Lieber outlines in his book The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money. He advises that allowance be used as a means of showing children how to save, give, and spend on things they care about. Kids should do chores, he writes, “for the same reason we do—because the chores need to be done, and not with the expectation of compensation … Allowance ought to stand on its own, not as a wage but as a teaching tool.”
     
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  2. gator7_5

    gator7_5 GC Hall of Fame

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    Pay for washing the car and mowing the lawn, not cleaning your room. Pretty logical.
     
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  3. gatordavisl

    gatordavisl GC Hall of Fame

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    Good suggestions from the authors. This is all about the development of intrinsic motivation (associated with the task/not the extrinsic rewards).
     
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  4. GatorNavy

    GatorNavy Tally me banana Moderator VIP Member

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    My allowance was 25 cents a week. I had chores...mowing, raking, trash... and pretty much anything my dad wanted me to do. I should get reparations from the government.
     
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  5. tilly

    tilly Superhero Mod. Fast witted. Bulletproof posts. Moderator VIP Member

    My oldest daughter is 15. She has to wash and vacuum both my wife's van and my SUV every weekend.
    Her payment, is that iPhone in her hand. When she does not clean the cars, she has to physically pay us for her phone bill. (All while having pretty set limits on her screen time with said phone)

    This is not because I can't pay her phone bill or wash my own car. It is because she needs to know that cars need to be tidy and working is how you pay bills.

    She cleans her room because it is the right thing to do.
    There is no payment if she cleans her room or empties the dishwasher, but there may be consequences if she does not.

    You have to try and mirror real life for them without robbing the joy of childhood. We do similar things for our 13 year old and our 8 year old, though at different levels of course.
     
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  6. citygator

    citygator Premium Member

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    Allowance isnt earned at our house. It’s given monthly to learn to budget. What’s earned is your freedom. :emoji_cop::emoji_cry:
     
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  7. defensewinschampionships

    defensewinschampionships GC Hall of Fame

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    We have two types of chore. One type you do because I’m your dad and I said so. This builds a will to work for the common good. The other type I pay commission on because I didn’t want to do it myself. This builds a will to work as a way of earning income. Both types serve a purpose.
     
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  8. NavyGator93

    NavyGator93 GC Legend

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    My boys have a small allowance and I work them like rented mules. The allowance pales in comparison to what they make doing lawns in the neighborhood and the allowance is downright silly compared to what my 17 year old makes tutoring.
     
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  9. homer

    homer GC Hall of Fame

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    My wife gives me an allowance of 15 dollars per week.

    I guess I’m doing ok? She hasn’t held one back in a while.
     
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  10. gator7_5

    gator7_5 GC Hall of Fame

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    UBI experiment... hmmm.
     
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  11. 96Gatorcise

    96Gatorcise GC Hall of Fame

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    Need back the good old days of getting beat if you didn't do your chores.
     
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  12. NavyGator93

    NavyGator93 GC Legend

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    Wait, you aren't supposed to beat your kid?
     
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  13. citygator

    citygator Premium Member

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    Don’t need to beat them anymore. Take their phone and they cry louder than from any spanking I got.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 11:27 PM
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  14. citygator

    citygator Premium Member

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    Universal Basic iphone? I’m not for that at all. Gotta earn Snapchat access.
     
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  15. carpeveritas

    carpeveritas All American

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    The answer is you do the chores period no compensation involved. In reality parents pay for everything until the child is self sufficient. Chores instill responsibility for ones self as well work ethic.

    Around age 11 is when children become aware of the necessity for money and paying for what you want. At that age raking the neighbors yard, caring for the neighbors pets, baby sitting, yard work etc. gives them a rational understanding of money and the efforts incurred to earn it. I was mowing lawns at the age 12 and have had money in my pocket ever since.

    That said while children are still the charge of a parent, they live rent free, get free meals, cloths and shoes and participate in family outings and entertainment. They don't pay for sports equipment or organized youth activities. They don't pay for music lessons or instruments and educational activities either. All of that comes out the parents pocket. You want a car save your money. As a parent there is no reason you can't help with the financing or pitch in. The child makes payments on the car, pays for gas and insurance and that is price for a child's freedom.

     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 6:19 PM
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  16. adamgator96

    adamgator96 Premium Member

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    Our kids do chores to eat. Paid the kids $3 for an hour of pulling weeds, though. A week later at Target, my daughter asked to buy a $3 toy. I asked her if it was worth pulling weeds for an hour. After a short pause, she put the toy back.

    We don’t reward them for piano lessons, but I do “hire” them to play for me while I’m busy cooking.
     
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  17. studegator

    studegator Junior

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    I started working in tobacco fields at age 11. Never received an "allowance". Room, board and gifts at christmas were enough.
    I learned to budget my money with the money I made working in tobacco every year. Every year I bought all my school cloths and then my first used car and paid in full with money I had saved up. This taught me to be a miser with my money.
     
  18. 96Gatorcise

    96Gatorcise GC Hall of Fame

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  19. citygator

    citygator Premium Member

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  20. swampbabe

    swampbabe GC Hall of Fame

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