Should we Pay Our Kids for Good Grades and Completing Chores?

Should we Pay Our Kids for Good Grades and Completing Chores?

As parents, we all want our children to develop into responsible, motivated adults. An important part of this process is teaching them the value of money and hard work from an early age. Many families consider whether to pay kids for good grades and chores as a way to instill these values. But how exactly should we go about using this approach to build a strong work ethic and financial literacy in our young ones?

Many families opt to pay kids for grades and chores – providing an allowance for chores or rewarding good grades. However, there are also arguments against using these kinds of reward methods, with some identifying these tactics as forms of bribery rather than reward.

So how do we strike the right balance?

In this blog post, we’ll explore whether financially incentivising children for their school and household achievements truly sets them up for later success. We’ll weigh up the potential benefits of achievement-based allowance systems against the risks of undermining intrinsic (self) motivation. With plenty of practical tips as well as chore charts for different ages, you’ll learn how to tailor your approach for instilling financial aptitude, duty, and ambition in your children.

Why Should I Pay My Kids for Good Grades and Chores Completed?

It's hard to know whether to pay kids for good grades and chores and what effect it will have on them.

First, let’s examine why so many parents implement reward systems linked to children’s performance both academically and in contributing to family tasks. There are some clear advantages to directly connecting money to kids’ effort and success:

1. Provides Early Money Management Lessons

Tying weekly or monthly allowance amounts to chores teaches children the fundamental principle that labour and responsibility deserve financial compensation. When children see first-hand how their helpfulness and hard work directly translates to earning spending money, they intrinsically learn.

Paying for chores instills the profound lesson that money must be earned through diligent work rather than expected as an entitlement.

Of course, any allowance for chores should be age-appropriate both in terms of task difficulty and payment. More on setting effective yet achievable expectations by age bracket later in this blog.

2. Incentivises Productivity and Achievement

It’s human nature – when there’s a reward at stake, we’re more motivated to put in consistent effort. The same psychology applies to children. Providing your child an incentive-based allowance where they receive financial payment for household jobs ticked off their chore chart can incentivise them to become more dutiful contributors.

Similarly, offering pocket money bonuses for good grades, test results, and effort shown in a subject area provides extrinsic motivation to excel academically alongside intrinsic motivation.

3. Supports Good Saving and Spending Habits

Once children start earning an income stream – even just a few pounds a week – you can nurture financial literacy from the outset by guiding money management. Teach them to allocate a percentage to short term spending, medium term saving for desires, and long-term savings like a bank account.

Let them learn for themselves how rewarding delayed gratification can be as their savings grow for bigger purchases like games consoles or bikes. You’ll be equipping them with invaluable skills for budgeting, saving, and responsible spending choices that will serve them for life. Check out our Young Savers Course in our app (coming soon!), and Etsy Store for our interactive digital products to help guide you and your kids.

4. Can Foster Increased Independence

A child that holds down age appropriate chores in exchange for payment is learning self-sufficiency and responsibility for their environment. Completing household jobs diligently without constant supervision lets them enjoy a sense of independence, self-worth and maturity.

With a little more pocket money in their budget from chore incentives, they can also gain financial independence in affording leisure activities with friends like cinema trips.

There are many potential benefits to financially incentivising your kids by connecting an allowance to completed chores and household responsibilities. Along with motivating them to be more helpful members of the household, it can instill impressive money management abilities from a young age.

 

What Are the Potential Downsides of Paying for Good Grades and Chores?

However, let’s look at the other side of the coin, as paying kids for grades and chores is certainly not universally agreed to be the optimal parenting approach. Some child development experts caution against over-emphasising extrinsic motivators, arguing children shouldn’t grow accustomed to being continually rewarded for expected contributions. Let’s discuss a couple risks of financial incentive-based allowances:

1. May Undermine Intrinsic Motivation

If children grow used to only performing tasks for monetary gain, they might lose touch with the inherent satisfaction that comes from helping family out of altruism and shared responsibility. The ideal goal is for children to willingly assist parents in maintaining a happy household because they understand how teamwork benefits everyone.

Over-emphasis on external rewards risks eroding intrinsic drive – the sense of community spirit and moral obligation we hope adolescents will carry into adulthood whether financial gain is present or not.

2. Rewards Shouldn’t Replace Discipline

There’s also a risk of reward schemes replacing discipline for subpar effort. If children become accustomed to payments irrespective of job quality or punctuality, they may develop an entitlement mentality rather than grasping the reality that income relies on accountability.

For example allowing full pocket money when chores are done carelessly or late teaches the wrong habits. Natural consequences through reduced allowance better mimics adult employment where lateness and carelessness carries work evaluation and pay implications.

Relying too heavily on transactional reward systems risks teaching children to only contribute when there’s cash reward instead of encouraging helpfulness as its own virtue. And buffering kids from consequences of tardiness or low effort with payment can undermine their grit and determination development.

 

Top Tips for Implementing Allowance and Chore Systems for Kids

Paying kids for good grades can incentivise them to push themselves further with education.

Hopefully weighing those pros and cons gives a balanced perspective on incentive-based allowances! The key is not over-emphasising rewards but implementing chore charts and payments in moderation alongside other character building methods.

We at Finabee believe that when well-integrated into a wider parenting approach emphasising empathy, integrity and responsibility – with natural consequences for falling short – payment structures can positively motivate.

Here are some handy tips for parents considering introducing pocket money for chores or achievement-based allowances:

Tailor to Age Bracket

Task difficulty and compensation should align with what’s age appropriate in the context of physical ability, attention span and existing pocket money. For example:

  • Ages 3-5: Simple daily routines like tidying toys away for an extra £1-2/week
  • Ages 6-7: Basic chores like emptying bins and feeding pets for £3-5/week
  • Ages 8-10 More responsibility like laundry/dishes for £6-10/week
  • Ages 11+: In-depth cleaning/gardening for £10-20+/week

Rotate Chores

Don’t overwhelm kids by overloading them with too many tasks simultaneously. Instead have a rotation where daily/weekly responsibilities change so no single child feels unduly burdened. This teaches adaptability too!

Set Clear Expectations

Rather than nagging, sit down together to agree and write down exactly what constitutes satisfactory completion for each job – how it should be done and when. That way kids know what they are committing to upfront. Similarly, when you pay kids for good grades, make sure the target grades are realistic and attainable/motivating for your kids.

Link Pay to Quality

Make no mistake about it – you are paying them for domestic work and their academic performance. Payment should reflect quality. Consider tiered pocket money where base allowance is given for hitting core tasks consistently then bonuses added for exceptional jobs.

On the flip side, have consequences for tardiness/neglect like reduced allowance as their boss might cut wages for contract breaches. Don’t financially reward half-heartedness.

Favour Praise over Payment

While you want to teach money management, remember children also respond profoundly to emotional rewards like verbal/physical praise, family time and one-on-one parental attention. Spotlight their efforts often so children don’t see money itself as the sole motivator.

Re-Evaluate Approaches

What worked a charm encouraging your 8 year old may lose impact by 10. Review pocket money amounts and jobs scope every 6 months to keep kids continually challenged yet supported in their responsibilities. Be prepared to switch up formats if motivation dwindles.

FAQ: Paying Kids for Good Grades and Chores

To wrap up this guide, let’s run through some common questions asked by parents if they should pay kids for good grades and chores:

Q1: Should we pay children for basic expectations like homework?

Completing homework to a decent standard is a non-negotiable part of a child’s duty in their student ‘job’, just as parents have workplace obligations. Most experts advise reserving financial rewards for efforts that exceed basics expected like fantastic exam results or effort put into learning,  or exceptional end of term reports.

Q2: Is it ok to pay kids for good grades and chores when they’re younger (under 10 years old)?

Linking grades to allowance can motivate younger children (aged 6-9) given their natural love of learning and desire to please. Small rewards demonstrate you value their effort. But avoid over-emphasizing grades alone to undermine their inner confidence or tying substantial sums that add pressure. Find balance by praising the process – their hard work, focus and perseverance. From age 10 upwards, incentive structures can correlate more explicitly with achievement as teenage independence needs rise.

Q3: When we pay our kids for good grades and chores, should we pay cash instantly or link to wider allowance?

For short-term motivation boosts or to recognize one-off huge helps from your child, instant cash in hand always brings smiles! But for embedded responsibilities, integrating payments into wider allowance frameworks teaches longer-term saving and planning. Set clear start dates and payment dates. Cash top ups outside the agreed schedule can undermine consistency and discipline.

Q4: How can we budget allowance amounts if chores payments vary weekly?

Regularly revisit accumulated chores payments – add them together end of month and distribute a round monthly figure for simplicity and budgeting. Float small interim cash sums if needed while your child awaits their lump ‘salary’ for jobs done. Anticipate variability by previewing upcoming months’ budgets and savings targets together.

Check out some of our printable budgets for your little ones and teenagers here.

Q5: Should we deduct allowance if chores are skipped?

Missing the odd chore is inevitable with kids’ busy childhoods balancing school, hobbies, friends. Small one-off deductions (say 10-20% allowance) suffice for first slip ups. But dampen expectations you’ll always pay the same for jobs left undone. Entering teenage years with greater independence requires greater accountability to responsibilities for full allowance eligibility.

Q6: What non-cash rewards motivate kids alongside/instead of money?

While money holds appeal, children also cherish parental praise, fun family nights, choice of dinner menus, later bedtimes and expanded freedoms like device use. Link these intrinsic rewards into incentive plans too. And bolster them with verbal praise for efforts like solid studying, perseverance and kindness. Foster inner drivers alongside financial ones.

Q7: Should rewards apply all year round including holidays/birthday rewards?

Absolutely, the learning process happens 365 days yearly! Tweak chore types/payments during less structured holiday weeks when homework ceases. And use reward milestones like birthdays, golden quarters of completed star charts or year-end celebrations to distribute chunkier monetary gifts highlighting progress made through their efforts. Timescales matter for cementing motivation.

Q8: How do we respond when rewards seem to increase ‘bad’ behaviour?

If an allowance approach leads to decreasing helpfulness or increasing demands from kids despite rewards on offer, a rethink may be needed! Have an open discussion about what ‘feels off’ and collaboratively ask your child what alternatives might incentivise them. Turn setbacks into joint redesign wins. Stay flexible rather than insisting one rigid reward framework alone works.

Q9: What are the alternatives if we don’t want payment-based systems?

Not every parent feels cash rewards align with their values or suits their child’s personality. Luckily there are lots of options! Voluntary charts, star/point schemes, family contracts, verbal praise, collaborative agenda setting, confidence building and leading through your own example can encourage kids to take responsibility. Not one style guarantees results. Review multiple.

In summary with experimentation, careful goal-setting and emphasising wider character building alongside targeted rewards, parents can discover incentivisation approaches that optimise children’s motivation levels in constructive directions! Stay reflective as their needs evolve each unique child on the journey toward adulthood.

You can purchase our Finabee chore charts from our Etsy store found here. Make sure to regularly reflect on them with your kids to check they are relevant still and provide enough of an incentive.

So How Can Finabee Help?

Here at Finabee we believe that all children should have access to financial and entrepreneurial education to inspire and build good money habits from an early age. Read a bit more about us here and how we plan to raise a generation of finance-savvy children for the future. Click here to learn more about how it works.

You can signup to the waiting list here for our app too to be one of the first to use it and be in with a chance of winning a £50 voucher!

Now that’s a savvy investment!

Financial literacy for teens sets them up for success!

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