I’m a kids expert and you should NEVER pay your kids to do housework, you’re creating a ‘If, then’ kid that sucks

Honestly – if we don’t pay the kids to do the housework, their bedroom will constantly look like a pigsty.

That said, we always justify it by teaching our little ones that they must sword their money in the real world. It’s correct?

Parenting expert Sarah Ockwell-Smith urges parents to give pocket money as something separate from housework


Parenting expert Sarah Ockwell-Smith urges parents to give pocket money as something separate from houseworkCredit: @sarahockwellsmith/Tiktok
Instead, she says you should only pay for errands when they're something your kids wouldn't normally do


Instead, she says you should only pay for errands when they’re something your kids wouldn’t normally doCredit: Getty

According to child expert Sarah Ockwell-Smith, this can actually do more harm than good in the long run.

Last year, Sarah – author of Gentle Parenting Book – mothers and fathers are urged to give pocket money as a separate thing from doing housework for a while TikTok Videos.

She said: “A lot of parents tell me, ‘in the real world, I get paid to work.

“And if I don’t get paid for it, there’s no incentive to do it. I work for the money. So it certainly makes sense to pay my kids to do things around the house. physical?”


However, Sarah warns this will only turn your child into an entitled teen.

“The problem is you’re not comparing likes and likes,” she explains.

“You don’t get paid to clear your plates after dinner, you don’t get paid to clean your room, you don’t get paid to put your clothes away.

“So why can you pay your child when you do the same? When you pay your child when you do housework, you create an ‘If, Then’ child that says, ‘If I do this thing,’ That, you will pay me what? “

“You’ve made them trust to help you, they’ll get something in return – whether it’s a gift or cold cash.”

Furthermore, Sarah claims that this then “undermines” the possibility that they’ve ever helped around the house without the promise of a reward.

Sarah’s tips for handling pocket money:

1. Once you give your child pocket money, that money is no longer yours. That means you have no say in how they spend. If they want to blow all that into a magazine they can’t read yet, or a shoddy plastic toy that you just know will break quickly, that’s their prerogative. It is important that they learn value through their own experiences and natural consequences. Do your best not to hinder their choice.

2. Pocket money should not be based on their behavior. Whether your child is an angel or a terror right before pocket money has no effect on how much money they get from you. The allowance of pocket money is unconditional. It is given to improve their sense of self-control (something that is often sabotaged when bad behavior occurs and is often the cause). You shouldn’t limit it, nor should you add ‘a small bonus’ if they are already very good. They get the same monthly on the same day (mine got theirs on the 1st of the month).

3. Never tie pocket money to housework. Again pocket money is unconditional. Paying kids to help around the house is a recipe for disaster. Seems like a great idea at first, but the novelty soon wears off and you’re likely to generate a “what would you give me if I did that” question? children, who are reluctant to help unless they are paid. Housework is part of everyday life, part of family life. Everyone should be expected to participate and no one should be financially rewarded for them. As soon as you reward them, you ruin the child’s chance to help selflessly (unpaid). However, there is a bit of an “but if” here. If you have a very unusual job that isn’t a daily chore and your kids are looking for extra pocket money, I don’t see any harm in counting it once. For example, my family raises chickens and ducks and we sell leftover eggs from our driveway. Collecting eggs in the rain and mud is not fun, so every now and then one of my sons collects the eggs, cleans them, cans and puts them on our sale table. He also has to collect money when they are sold. In doing this, he is allowed to keep a quarter of the profits. He doesn’t get paid for cleaning/tidying up the house – ever.

4. You must have clear boundaries. Pocket money to cover and what will you cover? This needs to be cleared up as soon as possible. The pocket money in my house is for whatever the kids want outside of Christmas and birthdays. It is also to cover drinks/food if they go into town with a friend, or buy something on the walk home from school. Finally, it also needs to cover vacation spending. I pay for their clothes, monthly phone bills, any food we eat out when I’m with them and all their clubs.

5. I do not lend money. If they see something they want for £30, I won’t lend them another £10 until next month. They have to wait until next month and save. The same is true for spending money on vacation. We discuss how many months until the holiday and how much they want to bring, they save (two out of four!) And then go to the bank to exchange their money for foreign currency. bad. I don’t explicitly force them to save if they don’t want to, because I believe it’s best for them to experience the natural consequences of not saving. I also don’t expect them to save ‘for my future’, that’s my job.

6. I don’t explicitly force them to give to charity. I love charity shops and errands so this has become their way of life – so the charity shop is always their first place of the month. If we see a busker on the street and they ask for money, I would ask them if they have any of their own to use, and the same goes for donation boxes. Now, they all spontaneously donate to what they think is a good cause (other than my good intentions – my daughter, for example, would donate anything related to animals) .

7. We open a bank account with a debit card as soon as possible. We have conversations about the difference between debit and credit, account balance and their debt. Something I didn’t know until my late teens.

8. We have a family saver pot (we use sealed pots that you smash to open). This pot is usually used to spend on our vacation every year. I never encouraged the kids to add money to it, but the fact that I regularly poured change into it clearly had an impact on them as they frequently did so with their pocket money. I have never encouraged or discouraged this, but I love the fact that they want to add to it.

Read Sarah’s Blog for more parenting advice.

While it may be manageable enough at first, Sarah said paying for housework can quickly spiral out of control as they get older.

She added: “When they are young, a little is enough – like 50p.

“But when they’re in their teens, they want more and more money […]

“If you want them to help around the house, they should do it for the simple fact that they’re part of the family and they’re there to support and help just like everyone else.”

Instead, experts recommend just paying for any chores your kids take on that they wouldn’t otherwise do – like washing the car or weeding the garden.

Last year, Sarah told us why thumb sucking and throwing toys are really GOOD developmental signs for your child.

In other parenting news, this Mom shared her amazing way of teaching her children not to bully – subject other parents to disparagement.

And this Mom-to-be 25 weeks pregnant with triplets has revealed her HUGE swelling – People wonder where I fit in.

Add this mother with two children 11 months apart at the age of 19 – trolls said it was a mistake but now she is living her best life.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/17768055/child-expert-never-pay-kids-chores-warning/ I’m a kids expert and you should NEVER pay your kids to do housework, you’re creating a ‘If, then’ kid that sucks

Dais Johnston

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