Heidi Wordhouse-Dykema

>What do people here think about rewards systems for chores?
>We have a sort of two-tiered system. First is the "work before play"
>system, in which a certain minimum amount of work is required before the
>boys are allowed to play computer or video games. The second thing is that
>we pay them for working -- we have a weekly "chores chart" that we tote up
>at the end of each week -- the more work performed the more money they get.
>We do this not only to "coerce" them into working but to show them that
>there is a relationship between doing work and enjoying the benefits of
>having worked.

Okay, now that I've gotten over snorting the black olives I was eating....
I'd have to say that rewards for chores SUCKS for the parents. The kids
whine. The kids try to avoid the chores. The chores seem impenetrable,
boring, never-ending and definitely hideous. The parents have to chase the
kid around, keep track of who did what (and who didn't do what), cajole,
beg, plead, threaten... and then the kids hold the specter of not having
any spending money just because YOU said so. (and it was you who decided
that they couldn't have any money if they didn't do what you required of
them, no? That wasn't their decision imposed on you?) Then, when all is
said and done, the parent has to usually do the chore anyway, probably
muttering something about kids who don't care... etc. Goodness. Who wants
to live in such a world?

...and frankly, in the real world, there isn't usually a direct correlation
between financial rewards and how much you worked. I know gardeners who
work a WHOLE lot harder both physically, mentally and in terms of time
spent, than certain of my relatives, and yet certain of my relatives pull
down six figure salaries. The gardener barely makes it into five
figures. Nevermind the legion of folks who work their butts off starting
businesses, and no matter how hard they work, the biz fails. ...But they
worked hard. Where's their money? We were taught that work equals money!

To my way of thinking, the benefits of having worked are looking at the
work you just did and feeling good about it. Do your kids feel terrific
about the work/chores they just completed, or was it a trial endured? I
say, skip the coercion, the charts and the 'I'm bigger than you, so I
say...' games and let the kids choose when and where to help.

It'll happen.

Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything. - Frank Dane