I know that this debate is a little stretched already, but let me put in my perspective. First, let us see some of the reasons given by parents.
Why pay kids for housework
To add incentives and motivate learning
Some parents argue that it is an added incentive. They argue that once you instill a work for money mentality, the child will look forward to working harder to meet targets and be proactive to goals.
While this is mostly true, research has it that a child may opt in or out of the responsibility to help parents. In one study, children were found to only work in as much as their compensation remains worthwhile to them. The child, therefore, opts out. The result is an overburdened parent.
A child is likely to try out more chores in a bid to earn more. The child may know or be interested in more than housework.
Why you should not pay children for housework.
Chores are a responsibility, not an option
Proponents of this argument say that children are supposed to be helping in the family. It is the only way they can learn responsibility. A child should know that once they wake up, they should make their beds. A child should also learn that if you spill a drink on the carpet, you should do something without having to negotiate.
Can be expensive and work against both the learning values and parenting
Further, paying for every chore that the child ought to complete in the house can be ridiculously expensive. Parents who opted to pay for chores done ended up not keeping their end of the bargain. Even if you had a modest charge of 10 cents per task, it might run into 30-50 bucks a month. So the child will help in the first week and from there, you are on your own.
The boundaries of housework and responsibility
Or worse, you do not want to be charged for passing the salt at the table. Kids can get ridiculous, and every act will be deemed a service. Alternatively, parents have opted to compensate for only those chores that are for the benefit of the family. For example, water the flowers, clean the garage or car, and vacuum the floor among others.
On overall, paying for chores is a bad idea. If it has to be done, it must be done carefully and creatively so that its intended purpose is achieved.
First, set the agenda on why you are compensating. Most parents want to teach kids frugal living, hard work and responsibility with money, time and other resources. Set the agenda straight.
Tailor the compensation plan to suit your goals.
For example, for every dollar the child will earn, teach them how to spend, save and give to charity.
Peg it on milestones
Set the milestones. For example, if a child shows responsibility and service throughout the week, he or she earns $2 or $8 a month.