Hell No I Don’t Pay My Kids Allowance


My husband and I have a disagreement. (Well, actually, we have many. Isn’t that what marriage is all about?) He suggested that it was time to start giving our children an allowance. For reason I couldn’t articulate clearly at first, I am dead set against the idea.

And not just because it means I’d have to cut back on my Starbucks habit.


I took a good, long bath to think about it. Not true–I took a hurried shower while my three-year-old stood outside the shower stall whining. But I did think about it.

The idea of paying children to perform tasks essential to the running of their own household just rubs me the wrong way.

My husband and I waited until later in life to have kids. They were very much planned, very much wanted, and took a while to come to us. The kids’ needs are the primary concern when making any family decision, whether where to live or what to serve for dinner.

I say this to put into context what I’m about to say next. Which is…. I don’t want my kids to believe themselves to be the center of the universe. It irks me to no end to see a bunch of kids glued to their iPads while mom does the dinner dishes and dad takes out the garbage.

We’ve been reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House Series at bedtime for over a year now. (We’re almost finished the last book!) Exploring a time in America’s not-so-distant past has been a good opportunity to point out how families best function as teams.

And how, in the past, it was a question of survival.

This whole whether-or-not-to-pay-kids-for-chores issue seems the epitome of a #FirstWorldProblem.

It’s only because our lives are relatively comfortable that our kids even have the “option” of not helping or expecting to be paid to help. When you are more worried about starving than your Minecraft obsession, your priorities shift. I want my kids to know that we are lucky to have what we have and that it is our responsibility to keep it working and clean.

Paying kids to help with chores also devalues work that has traditionally been “women’s work.”

The idea of paying children to perform tasks essential to the running of their own household just rubs me the wrong way. Here's why we don't pay our kids an allowance. #allowance #filterfreeparents

No one pays us moms to cook, clean, and do endless housework. When kids (especially boys) just expect that mom will wash the dinner dishes alone and we allow that expectation to become acceptable, we are signalling to them that the women in their lives just “magically” take care of these things.

Much of the work of keeping a home is invisible. No one notices how much laundry mom does until they can’t find their favorite jeans. No one notices how much work mom puts into meals until she isn’t around to make them.

Kids who aren’t expected to do work at home will be sorely unprepared for adult life.

Have you heard about these millennials who actually need a course to teach them to do laundry and boil an egg? Seriously? I don’t want my kids to be helpless when it’s finally time for them to move out of the house. Oh, and that reminds me, if I make home too comfy, where all things are done for them, they may never move out of the house!

Do YOU pay your kids for chores? Might want to check out this article, too

This post originally appeared on MomCave TV


  1. This is a really good article. We actually just started giving our boys allowances (they are 14, 13 and 11). We never had before. The reason we chose to start was to teach them money management skills. I also got them a greenlight debit card that I load it onto. It has been a great experience for them. Instead of asking Mom or Dad for money when they want something, they have to check their account and decide if it is worth spending the money. I agree that kids don’t need paid for doing chores that they should be doing. For us, as they got older, we felt we needed to start preparing them to make good financial decisions too so this was our compromise 🙂


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