A few days ago I met one of mine acquaintance on the street. We started talking about our kids and he said to me: ‘We decided to give our daughter a pocket money in exchange for cleaning her room every day. It’s not a significant amount, just something to keep her motivated. It was working great until this morning. When I came into her room, I saw that she didn’t make her bed and her stuff were all around the room. ‘Honey, why you didn’t put in order your things like we agreed? I’ll give you some money after you finish it, as I promised.’ Little girl answered with a smile on her face: ‘Daddy, I don’t need it any more, I have enough to buy an ice-cream.’ 😉
I laughed on this child’s gumption, but also it enforced me on thinking. What will happen when children’s appetite increase as they grown up? Maybe they will be satisfied with 1$ today, but that will change tomorrow. If we teach them to do houseworks in exchange for money, we give them opportunity to blackmail us in the future. ‘I won’t do that, until you give me that much money.’ That way we make manipulators from our kids and that certainly isn’t parent’s intention. Child’s character is built from the diapers period. We need to teach them right values from the beginning of their lives and be careful about rewarding them in a special occasions.
In my opinion kids cooperate better when they know exact reason why they do something. They must be aware of the fact that they don’t clean the room because of their parents, but because of themselves. That will help them to be more organize, neat and they will save more time if they know where they put their things. By training to do houseworks children develop independence and confidence. Also they learn how to help to the others and share duties.
Little kid can also be responsible for some duties, like place toys into box after playing. Kids learn by watching what their parents do and repeating that. When I say to my boys ‘Come on, put your toys on their place’, they rarely obey. It’s totally different story when we do it together.
It’s the same with learning for school. You don’t need to pay your children to get excellent grades. The most important is that they understand what they learn and show them how to use learned theory in everyday life. Kids are curious by they nature and they like to explore everything. When they realize that books represent doors into new unexplored worlds, the grades won’t be obstacles any more.
I don’t say that you should never give kids a money, only not to use it as a bait. They need to start learning from the early beginnings how to dispose with the money. What about money as a prize? Kids can be rewarded in a special occasions, when they show additional effort to do something.
Quick-witted parents won’t have need to ‘pay’ their kids to do their duties. It’s crucial for parents to be patient and persistent in developing useful habits which they want their kids to posses. Good habits outgrow into virtues by time and that is the biggest award for dedicated parents.
Mommy hasn’t got a clue