Expert's Advice

Chores and Allowance

Richard and Linda EyreExpert advice about paying for chores seems to range all over the place, from do it, don't do it, and do it only for some things. However, when we chatted with renowned parenting experts, Richard and Linda Eyre, their message resonated with us. They framed the issue differently — not as payment for chores but as follows (paraphrased):

A family needs income to live and a family needs to exert effort in the course of daily life to survive and thrive. Parents are usually the only ones that earn income externally. However, if kids wish to share in the family income (ie. allowance), then it's reasonable that they share in the family effort.

They used a manual system with their nine children — a system that enabled the Eyres to dial up or down their kids' "income" based on how well they shared the family effort.

The specific responsibilities varied by child's age. But the concept remained the same. They weren't being paid for chores....they were, however, receiving their share of "income" based on how well they met their family responsibilities.

Richard and Linda Eyre are the authors of Teaching Your Children Values, an international best seller that went to #1 on The New York Times best-seller list. The Eyres are also frequent guests and "experts" on and in various media, including Oprah, Prime Time Live, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Donahue, NPR, PBS, and USA Today. Their websites are at: www.theeyres.com and www.valuesparenting.com