‘Should Children be Rewarded for Doing Chores?’ Rebbetzin Heller’s Response

5 03 2010

Excerpted from Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller’s Question and Answer series on Naaleh.com


Is it wrong for me to reward my ten-year old with prizes for helping around the house and watching the baby? Am I raising her level of expectation in gashmiyut that way? If so, what alternatives do you recommend?

ANSWER: It’s a marvelous idea to reward your daughter for helping. Much better than having to spend money on a counselor to find out what to do with a child who is not cooperating. Certainly you shouldn’t expect a ten-year old to do things for purely altruistic reasons. However, be careful not to reward her completely consistently. From time to time, ask her to do small chores or errands and don’t reward her for it. This way when you do get her something, she will see it as a prize or reward and not as payment. As she gets older, at around twelve or thirteen, try to reward her less frequently and steer her more towards kavod. Eventually she’ll reach a point where she herself will realize that it’s foolish to expect a reward constantly, especially for chores that she would be expected to do in any case.




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