our everyday life

Should Teenagers Be Paid to Do Chores & Get Good Grades?

by Kathryn Hatter

When you have specific expectations about chores and grades, you might look for any leverage you can gain to motivate your teen to perform those chores. However, paying a teenager to complete chores and get good grades often backfires because it sends the wrong message to your child.

Disconnect an Allowance

Money can be an effective way to get a teenager’s attention, but connecting chores and grades with payment can be risky, advises the Great Schools website. Tying chores and grades to payment encourages your teenager to expect payment for every contribution and achievement. Ensure that you’re really comfortable making this connection in your teenager’s mind before you pay your child for chores and grades. Also realize that when you connect performance and money, you run the risk of your teenager deciding that he doesn’t need money at any given time so he doesn’t need to work. Instead, it might be wiser to provide an allowance for spending money that has nothing to do with the grades your child earns and the chores he performs. You can still set expectations for these areas, but you don’t need to involve money to do it.

Teens Require Reminders

Teenagers are often busy and distracted people who don’t put household chores and school work high on their to-do list. After you institute your expectations for your teen, prepare to stay involved with the process to ensure your child follows through and meets your expectations. By accepting the need for some degree of nagging on your part, you adjust your expectations to meet reality. It might not seem so annoying to have to remind your teenager every Monday evening that it’s trash night.

Find Other Consequences

If you find that your teenager isn’t performing despite friendly reminders or even nagging, it might be necessary to institute penalties to encourage your child to increase her responsibility. Here again, resist the urge to connect difficulty getting a teenager to perform with money. In other words, no allowance docking. Appropriate penalties might include the teen losing parental chauffeur service or cellphone time.

Use Positive Reinforcement

When your teenager completes household chores or brings home acceptable grades, it’s time to show off your cheerleading ability. Most people appreciate receiving positive feedback and hearing praise – teenagers are no different. According to Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland, parents need to provide plenty of verbal recognition and acknowledgement for every accomplishment of a teen. Establish eye contact, say “thank you” or “great work” and watch your teen respond with personal satisfaction and more motivation.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images