Children, Chores and Change

Work is hard

When a child is born into a family there will eventually come a day when mom and dad choresrealize they need to be proactive in teaching their children the value of work by way of chores. When God created man, he put him to work. When God created woman, she was to be man’s helper. After the fall in Genesis 3, God said to Adam,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

Note that God did not make work itself a curse, but the nature of work changed such that it became difficult. Today we simply call it “hard work,” and the biblical principle is simple: Diligence brings rewards and laziness results in poverty (Proverbs 12:11; 10:4; 20:13; 22:29). 

A Necessity and a Reward

Therefore, as image bearers, our children need to be taught the importance of work from the outset.  And….. from the outset it ultimately should be done without bribery. However, it also must be remembered that one day, as they grow older, work will become a means of support and financial necessity. As stewards of God’s money they will need to develop a responsibility in handling their money. So this poses the question:

How do we teach our children to become hard workers without resorting to bribery, yet presenting the opportunity to make a little money that would in turn teach them responsible financial management?

  1. Create a set of mandatory chores to be done daily. These differ according to age, gender, etc., and can include anything from making your bed when you wake up to picking up all your toys/belongings in the evenings to dishes……etc. The important factor here is that these are required and do not receive any financial reward. These chores are to teach diligence. 
  2. Make a set of extra optional chores to be rewarded financially, but can only be done after mandatory chores are complete. The important factor here is that these are allowed only if the mandatory chores have been completed and are being completed consistently on a daily basis

Therefore, any chance at making money will come only if a diligence is first demonstrated in daily chores. 

Note: Money management for kids can briefly be summed up by the giving of three jars for each kid: 1. Spending   2. Saving   3. Tithing (%10). Parents should discuss together how much to encourage their kids to place in jar 1 and 2. 

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