Why parents who pay their kids for chores are getting it wrong

Eighty-three percent of parents who give their kids an allowance believe they should earn it by doing chores, according to an annual T. Rowe Price survey. Those parents are getting it wrong, if you believe a pile of parenting books going back a couple of decades that say an allowance should be for learning — not for earning.

For a recent one, there’s Ron Lieber’s “The Opposite of Spoiled” in which he argues that we shouldn’t give allowances in exchange for chores because one day our kids will decide they don’t need the money and refuse to do the work. “So allowance ought to stand on its own, not as a wage but as a teaching tool,” Lieber writes.

Then there’s “Positive Discipline A-Z,” the classic by Jane Nelsen. Nelsen, too, argues that allowances should be educational. “Chores are a separate issue and should not be connected to an allowance,” she writes.

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