We shouldn’t ask our children to earn money by doing chores: parenting expert

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Nothing is free — except in this household.

A parenting expert has revealed a controversial parenting tactic — giving her kids an allowance, even if they don’t do chores.

Kirsty Ketley — who with her husband Stu has two children, Ella, 10, and Leo, 6 — gives both of her kids $2.50 a week, but not for helping out around the house.

“The kids don’t get money for chores — we just expect them to muck in,” the UK-based mom explained to NeedToKnow.co.uk. “But they have to stick to our family rules and boundaries.”

The 42-year-old mom explained that it’s important for her kids to be aware of what money is and how to save it.

“How to spend responsibly,” she continued. “I think that has to start young.”

Ketley, who offers her parenting services under the name Auntie K, explained they do that to teach their little ones how to be responsible with their money and appreciate the value of a dollar.

Middle aged woman with young boy and girl.
Ketley with Ella and Leo, whom she is teaching to spend money responsibly.
Jam Press/Kirsty Ketley

Young girl taking washing out of the machine.
She said her kids are expected to help out around the house — regardless of receiving pocket money.
Jam Press/Kirsty Ketley

Kids looking in piggy banks.
The kids can save up for whatever they want with their pocket money – within reason.
Jam Press/Kirsty Ketley

“If they want a magazine or a toy, for instance, they have to save and spend their own money. This has helped them understand the cost of things, and often they decide they don’t want whatever they have asked for in that moment,” she pointed out.

Ketley, who lives in Surrey with her family, says her kids are expected to help out around the house regardless of whether or not they get pocket money, and how much they receive will increase as they get older.

“The kids’ rooms are their responsibility, so they are in charge of keeping them clean and tidy – [although] obviously with Leo, he does require some help, but we help alongside him, rather than do it for him,” she said. “Both will dust, hoover and tidy and put clothes away.”

Selfie middle aged woman denim jacket and scarf.
Ketley, a parenting expert, says the system works in her household.
Jam Press/Kirsty Ketley

The parenting guru added they have loose boundaries around what their children can buy, though she and her husband don’t allow them to stock up on candy.

“For Leo, usually toys — but for Ella, it’s books, stationery, magazines, bath bombs, hair accessories and sometimes clothes,” she said of each kid’s interests.

Ketley said their system works well in their household but admits that deciding how much money to give them can be tough.

“I think you can only give what you can afford, and it’s important that kids understand that but also give what they need,” she reasoned.

The parenting pro said her approach teaches kids to be responsible and help out around the house — without tying it directly to chores.

“They get the money because they’ve behaved well and followed our house rules,” the mom added.

“So far, this approach is working well.”

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