Thousands of Boston area children not yet able to punch a time clock have been hard at work around the house completing chores, earning a reward and learning how to save, share and spend money wisely. “There is plenty of debate going on whether children should be doing chores around the house or not,” says Gregg Murset, CEO and founder of My Job Chart. “My belief is that children will do better as young adults and adults if they develop a good work ethic, as well as learn the fundamentals of dealing with money at any earlier age.”
Murset says that in Massachusetts, the top jobs are brushing teeth, packing school bags, putting away clothes, cleaning the table after meals, reading a book, getting dressed, doing homework, taking a bath/shower, making beds and picking up toys.
“According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics there are 74 million kids under 18 years old currently in the U.S.,” adds Murset. “This is an unbelievable workforce, but more so, it is also our future. It is extremely important that as parents we make sure our children understand the meaning of work ethic, responsibility, accountability and managing money so they can be prepared to be successful adults.”
As the winter chill eventually leaves New England and children start dreaming about what to do after school is out for summer, parents can help them find ways to fill their days away from TVs, video games or texting by developing a daily list of tasks to be completed with or without supervision.
And, if enforcing chores in your home at times seems like more work and stress for you than it is worth, try some of the following tips to motivate children to complete tasks without having to resort to threats or repercussions.
- Let Kids Work to Support a Special Charity They Select: Help your child find a charity or cause he wants to support, and tell him by finishing his chores, part of the money he earns will be donated to it.
- Parents Match Any Savings or Donation: Make an agreement with your kids that whatever they earn, you (or even grandma/grandpa) will match the dollar amount to go toward a charity or into savings.
- Connect Chores with a Special Day or Additional Activity Time: Special time with mom and dad, maybe a trip to the zoo, to see a movie or to go out to eat at a favorite restaurant.
- Allow Overtime: Give your kids the chance to work overtime to earn more money.