Kids Create Solutions vs Doing House Chores to Earn an Allowance

This is a very interesting parenting article on “Raising Entrepreneurs – Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in your kids” by Jake Johnson in Medium.
(Thanks Liz for the link).

Good money lesson #1: In life, we have responsibilities

Liam still has chores. Each day he’s expected to feed the cat, empty the trash and recycling, put the dishes away, and keep his room clean. For that he gets nothing other than the satisfaction of a job well done (hopefully he feels that satisfaction soon).

Good money lesson #2: Real value comes in solving problems

In our house, you get paid for recognizing a problem and proposing a solution. I’ve taught Liam that if he wants to make money, he has to pay attention to the world around him, identify a problem that needs fixing, and propose a solution. We then negotiate a payment.

Good money lesson #3: A great business takes a great plan

I was proud of Liam for wanting to start a car washing business, but I wanted to teach him some more lessons. So, I asked him what materials he was going to use to wash the cars he lined up. He told me he would use a bucket from the garage and the soap and sponge by the sink. I told him that was a good idea with one exception, those things weren’t his to use. He needed to finance his business with his own money and materials.

Good money lesson #4: Life is about work as play

Liam loves projects. The other morning he was up at 6 a.m. with about twenty Highlights magazines spread out before him.“What are you up to?” I asked. “I’m trying to decide which craft I want to do,” he said.

Kids inherently want to build. Whether it’s crafts or legos or forts, they throw themselves into projects with abandon. The best byproduct of teaching Liam about entrepreneurship is that he’s learning that work can be fun, especially if you’re building something you’re passionate about.

I see passion building in him as he looks at making money as a project that involves solving problems rather than as selling his time to hurry through tasks. Every kid loves a good project…and so do I. I see him slowly turning into an entrepreneurial thinker. And no matter what he does in life, that type of thinking will help him excel.

This article wasn’t a simple what is the best way for children to earn an allowance. It was a thought-provoking article that really made me realize how important every little thing is when it comes to parenting. Even how you give your children allowance could shape their little minds, forming their future view on career and work.

The reward system, you know it… do this chore and I’ll give you money or a treat. These are tactics that are in use all the time. Jake Johnson makes good points as to why these may not be the best methods in teaching our children about being proud and adding value to their work.

It makes me want to be a better parent for Julienne. Giving her a sense of value in the quality and passion in her work. Jake Johnson what a great dad, already trying to nourish this entrepreneurial spirit in his 7 year old and teaching him an amazing lesson that will take him into adulthood. Two thumbs up.

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