I had a conversation with a friend the other day. She told me her children will not do any housework – not even when she pays them $0.50 for the chores. She explains it’s because $0.50 doesn’t go far these days, there is nothing that a child can buy with such a small amount, so it’s not enough as a motivator. In contrast, my own children often jump at the opportunity to do house work for ANY pay. So it got me thinking – why are some children more willing to do housework (for any pay) whilst other children resist?
Savings goals motivates a child to do housework
I had to reflect on what motivates my children to do housework – having a clean house certainly isn’t a motivator for them! One reason could simply be my children always have savings goals to work towards. When there is a goal, they know they are working for a reason.
One reason could simply be my children always have a goal to save up towards
Keeping a visual chart of their progress helps to motivate them to achieve the end result. They do not see earning money as a pointless exercise in collecting notes and coins. Rather, my children see their earnings as a means to achieving their end result, the attainment of a goal that has its own rewards.
But it is not just the reward at the end that the children look forward to. The journey that they are on makes it exciting. There is a goal they can achieve. Their progress is clearly visible for them and they see how close they are to reaching their goal. Believe it or not, they have told me that the journey itself – the delayed gratification – makes the reward at the end that much more satisfying.
So when my children are offered the opportunity to earn money (regardless of the amount) they are thrilled to take advantage of the opportunity. Any progress towards a goal is better than no progress at all. Similarly for my children, some money is better than no money at all. It helps to remind them of this whenever they start complaining of the amount they get paid.
… any progress towards a goal is better than no progress at all
Setting my children up with savings goals taught them to see the opportunity to earn money differently.
Do your children have savings goals? Share them with us in the comments.