I was talking about these different approaches with some friends who have adult children, ages 28 and 30. They told me that, with their kids, they used the second approach—giving allowance separate from chores. They said that during those early formative years, their son and daughter often went beyond the basic requirements of completing tasks, and they continue to do so with their families now.

Listening to my friends talk about this opened my eyes to another big reason not to associate allowance with chores: I don't want my children to grow up with the mindset that they should be paid for everything they do. I want them to be very aware that they can bless others through acts of service, whether it's a family member or a neighbor in need. With this approach, I think they will be more likely to be generous and not always think about what they can get in return for their efforts.

Can we pay a child extra money for extra work? Absolutely. For me, a good guideline is whether I would typically pay someone else to do a job for me—things like raking leaves, shoveling snow (with some help), or cleaning windows, cabinets and closets. Or, maybe you would consider some of these to be expected tasks as part of keeping the household running. There is room for you to customize your approach, but I do believe it's appropriate to pay a child for some things.

July 26, 2010

Excerpted from Dad Cents by Shane Barkley (Timothy Publishing). Copyright (c) Shane Barkley. All rights reserved.

Shane has a passion for teaching dads how to intigrate Biblical financial values into their children's lives. Shane has a degree in Business Administration from John Brown University and has 10 years experience in the financial consulting industry. He currently serves as the President of Dad the Family Shepherd. Shane and wife, Valerie, live in Topeka, Kansas with their three daughters.