Should you pay kids for chores?

By Kasia Jillings

Children are doing less around the house and expecting more in return but some Rotorua parents are determined to teach their children the value of hard work.

Ngongotaha mother Tracey Hawke has four children - Samantha, 15, Duncan, 13, Joseph, 11, and Lukas, 9, - who all do chores.

Samantha is expected to prepare the vegetables for dinner and help with the washing and vacuuming and the boys mow the lawns, deal with weeds and help cook.

Ms Hawke said she didn't pay them because chores were part of being a family.

Duncan said his best friend never had to do chores and he didn't like doing them at home but felt it had taught him the value of hard work.

Ms Hawke said she did chores as a child and it influenced how she raised her children.

"I hope one day they teach their children to do chores too. I don't want lazy children or grandchildren."

She said she thought some parents couldn't be bothered nagging their children and found it easier to do the chores themselves.

"I understand that point of view but then you're not teaching your kids anything by doing that."

Lisa Adlam has five children who do chores but she said they were part of the "me generation" who wanted everything.

"This me generation expects everything to be handed to them for nothing. We are going to end up with this expectant generation which is why me and my husband are trying really hard to teach our kids the value of chores."

An overseas study found modern-day children were only asked to do "trivial chores" like feeding pets or tidying up after themselves and in return expected to be paid.

The study, Children's Autonomy and Responsibility: An Analysis of Child Rearing Advice, showed chores helped children develop caring attitudes but some parents were reluctant to make their children do household tasks.

Rotorua father Craig Elphick has 10-year-old twin daughters who unload the dishwasher, set the table and feed the pets and don't get paid for it.

"But I know kids that get asked to do a job and want to know how much they get paid before they do it and to me that's teaching them to be greedy," said Mr Elphick.

"My kids don't do chores, they never have and yet they still expect to get paid," Rotorua mum Ariana Kameta commented on The Daily Post Facebook page.

Rotorua parents John and Kerryn Peters said they gave their son pocket money if he unloaded the dishwasher every day.

Lisa Macfarlane said her children were expected to do chores and got pocket money to teach them the value of money.

Study author Markella Rutherford said that, in earlier generations children and adolescents were expected to contribute to their households and communities. "In the past, parents didn't feel the need to bribe children because they were confident chores benefited their kids by making them feel both responsible and an active part of family life."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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