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Daniel Pink on Why Allowance Is Good for Kids
Posted: Fri 04/13/2012 08:00 AM
Here’s why an allowance is good for kids: Having a little of their own money, and deciding how to save or spend it, offers a measure of autonomy and teaches them to be responsible with cash.
Here’s why household chores are good for kids: Chores show kids that families are built on mutual obligations and that family members need to help each other.
Here’s why combining allowances with chores is not good for kids. By linking money to the completion of chores, parents turn an allowance into an “ if- then” reward. This sends kids a clear (and clearly wrongheaded) message: In the absence of a payment, no self respecting child would willingly set the table, empty the garbage, or make her own bed. It converts a moral and familial obligation into just another commercial transaction— and teaches that the only reason to do a less- than- desirable task for your family is in exchange for payment. This is a case where combining two good things give you less, not more. So keep allowance and chores separate, and you just might get that trash can emptied. Even better, your kids will begin to learn the difference between principles and payoffs.
Reprinted from DRIVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink by arrangement with Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc., Copyright © 2009 by Daniel H. Pink