Why I refuse to pay my kids for doing chores

MY SEVEN-year-old lost a tooth this week. It was only her third so understandably she was thrilled.

The Tooth Fairy, bless her cotton socks, almost failed to make an appearance but some early-morning scrambling saw the tiny tooth exchanged for a gold coin in the nick of time.

My littlie, a far from demanding child, was thrilled with her spoils, her beaming gappy smile a very real indication of her pleasure.

She was still smiling on the way home from school even after recounting the story of a classmate who had also lost a tooth the day before and managed to con her Tooth Fairy out of $5.

Far from comparing her $1 to her friend's riches, she was delighted that they had both come into some money.

I, on the other hand, am quicker to judge. Five dollars for one tiny tooth. Are you having me on?

It wasn't even a molar for crying out loud.

That this titbit of information came shortly after I had read Suncorp Bank's Cost of Kids report, which showed that families with three children spend more than $2200 a year on pocket money, merely added to my incredulity.

On average Australian kids are given $14 a week in pocket money, with the trend showing an increase by 462% since 1987 even though wages have only increased by 188% during that period.

Parents cite good behaviour and completing chores as reasons for handing out money.

In my house there are no rewards for making your bed, unpacking your bag or helping load the dishwasher.

And certainly none for watching your p's and q's.

I still expect my girls to do their share, and they do - sometimes reluctantly - but I refuse to pay them for playing their part in a loving family.


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