There has been an interesting discussion among parents about getting children to participate in housework. There’s even a more heated argument on whether children should be paid for their chores. According to the Strategic Financial Planning Team in the HSBC Bank, you have to “Expose your children to money: giving your children some financial independence early on, whether through an allowance or by asking them to earn their spending money, can help them learn its value and how to take responsibility. Whether they save or spend, talking about their choices is a good starting point.”
Personally, I choose to allow my children to make their own rota for chores and I also pay them at the end of the week. This is so they will learn good work ethics, be responsible as they grow up and learn from the start that their choices and attitude to life can make them wealthy or poor.
The question most parents have is at what age should a child be given responsibilities? and what sort of things should they be held accountable for? The answer always depends on the individual child, their level of maturity and the structure of your family. Yet, as soon as your child can put their plate in the sink after dinner, or pick up their toys they should be introduced to the world of having responsibilities. (small ones at first.)
The sense of responsibility will allow a child to have an inner sense of obligation, to answer for himself, his family, friends, and relatives. It is important to teach the child that he is the author of his own destiny, his thoughts, feelings and life events. In cultivating freedom and personal responsibility in children, parents need to realize that the child is not their property; he or she has an individual life and destiny. Therefore, in order to learn responsibility, they need to go all the way, making mistakes and making independent conclusions. The main task of parenting is to equip your child by giving the child the necessary life skills to survive.
A few months ago, my 12-year-old son asked me how he could earn more money than he was getting from doing household chores. I honestly did not know how else he could earn more money outside of the home at his age. Before I could find an answer, he had asked the corner shop lady if he could offer services to the elderly community by giving out newspapers for money. My 12-year-old son was asked to start the paper round when he turned 13 years old. Indeed when my son turned 13 he quickly went back to his would-be employer and started his paper round. The corner shop lady didn't have a choice but to employ him because I'm sure she could sense that this child was not ready to give up. Could it be that my son has been learning a few things from the responsibilities given at home? Well, I will allow you to judge for yourselves. (Smile)
Our children can be likened to 2 trees: One which is planted in a rainforest and never forced to extend its roots downward in search of water. As a result, it remains poorly rooted and can be knocked down by even a moderate wind. By contrast, the other tree which is planted in a dry desert and threatened by its hostile environment has to drive its roots down thirty feet or more into the earth to seek for water. By adapting and adjusting to harsh conditions, the well-rooted tree becomes strong and steady against all types of adversity.
Children who have learned to conquer their challenges are better anchored and can be more stable than those who have never faced them. So your task is not to eliminate every challenge your child faces but to help them acquire the skills needed to make wiser decisions. To survive the strongest storms when they grow up and become responsible members of society. The essence of building these values in children is to teach them to master the value of money. I was surprised to find that the original meaning of wealth is to possess great qualities, values, and virtues. That is why in my opinion, it is important to allow children to earn their special treats because, in reality, nothing good comes easy to anyone and in the process, your child will be building up a good knowledge of both material and inner values.
So, parents don’t be scared to give your children responsibilities sooner rather than later as it's potentially one of the greatest investments of time that you will ever make.