Payment for Chores

My elder daughter is three. Accounting for delays, she’s more of a two-year-old. We have not started giving her an allowance yet. Her experiences with money thus far are swallowing a quarter and getting cards from Grandma with a dollar inside. She can’t read, but she recognizes Grandma’s writing and her name on the envelope. She tears into the cards and triumphantly holds up the dollar telling us it’s money and a dollar. I haven’t asked her what she’s saving for. I’m saving for a new chair for her since her pink rocking chair broke. She’d probably choose something else and then change her mind. The book fair at Jessie’s school is this week. When Jessie’s class went she picked out two Disney books and her teacher sent a note home. When we went to family reading night at school and then the book fair, she chose completely different books.

Jessie does not have chores. She loves to help empty the dishwasher and has taken over putting the silverware away. She can help load the dishwasher, but keeps trying to put the dirty dishes in the cupboards. I should have her take part in putting laundry away. She is really good at putting her dirty clothes in the laundry room when asked. I should also have her take her dirty dishes from her table to the kitchen.

Should an allowance be tied to chores? Should she earn her money or just be given it outright? If we pay her to do chores, will she turn into a petulant tween who won’t do anything without monetary reward? I don’t want her to think she works for me and her dad. I want her to value her work for the sake of her work.

Isn’t there a saying that a job well done is its own reward?