There is a sharp divide in the parenting and personal finance advice communities about whether or not to pay kids for doing chores. Some claim that a paid arrangement develops work skills and respect for money. Others believe chores should be part of a child’s uncompensated obligations. Here are both sides, so you can decide what’s best for your family.

Paying For Chores Can Help Teach Work Ethic

Those who advocate for a paid-chore family system say that doing so imparts real-world responsibilities. Kids can be taught the importance of work, and the rewards of doing a good job. Those who support a connection between allowance and work say that the lessons learned at a young age helps kids blossom in older years.

Allowances Can Teach Money Management, Even If Not Connected To Chores

Some parents give their children an allowance regardless of their chores. Whether the money is earned through work or provided on a regular basis, these small amounts of cash can help kids understand the value of money and teach them valuable money management skills.

However, some critics believe that doing chores for money can lead to children becoming spoiled and out of touch with reality.

Many Believe Kids Should Not Be Paid For Regular Chores

Those who oppose paying kids for chores believe that such a system gives children the option to forego their $10 on a given week when they’d rather not do the work. In the real world, most of us don’t have that option. We need to earn our incomes and do not have the luxury of skipping expenses when we don’t want to work. These parents believe chores are part of base responsibilities that are shared in a household – the work required to earn a roof over one’s head.

Is It Ok To Pay Kids For Special Projects?

Many of these same parents, however, believe that it is acceptable to pay children for special projects around the house. Anything that you might usually pay a professional to do, such as landscape cleanup, painting, snow removal and other larger jobs may be appropriate for teaching kids the importance of working for money.

When Your Kids Get Money, It Should Be Cash

Almost all parents agree that, when you do provide your children with money, it ideally should be in the form of cash. While older children can learn about balancing checkbooks, a debit card can create a separation between money and its value. A $10 bill dwindles away into singles and coins, and kids can tangibly feel the effects of their spending.