15 answers

Chores for a Six Year Old.

My husband and I would like to give our six year old a few chores to teach him resposibility. We would also like to pay him for his chores to teach him the value of money. He is a child who we have done everything for and purchased everything for. He is spoiled. Totally my fault, I know. Recent bratty behavior has led us to decide to have him be responsible for a few things. We have come up with feeding the pets (which he actually enjoys doing), keeping his playroom clean, and emptying the bathroom trash cans. We would like to pay him $3 per week (half his age) and then take him to the store once a month to spend it. I would also like to teach him to split his earning into 3 groups, save, spend and charity (tithe to church). How much is too much money to give him and what percent should he save, spend and donate? I was thinking a dollar for each catagory. Also how many chores are too many for a kid this age. I don't want to punish him and make him work like slave, just learn to help out. Should I add any additional chores? Any advice would be appreciated.

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So What Happened?™

We are going to give our son the following chores:

Clean up playroom
Feed Pets
Make bed
Take out trash in bathrooms

We will give him $5 a week and have him give one dollar to charity, two dollars to savings and two dollars to spend or save as he wishes. We will take him to the dollar store or discount store once a month and he can choose an item to buy. If he sees an item that he does not have the money for I am hoping that this will teach him to save his money until next month, but then again he will probably just choose anther item that cost less. I want encourage him to save for the more expensive item but in the end let him make the decision. I think he will learn more this way. I'm still thinking about letting him earn more money for any extra jobs he does. Like 50 cents for helping fold the laundry (I usually do this while he is at school but sometimes he is home and can help). I'm sure I can find other things he can do too, but I am a stay at home mom and I don most things while he is at school. I think this will encourage him to look for things to help with so that he can earn more money and as he gets a little older we will just incorporate them into his usual chores. I don't want to overwhelm him since he has never had chores so I think this is a good way to start. Thanks for all of the advice but I have to say that I don't agree with the moms who don't give their kids an allowance for chores. How are kids supposed to learn how to handle money? I think it gives kids a good work ethic and teaches them to work for their money. At this age there is not a lot extra that he could do for money. He can't wash cars or mow the grass, I'll save that for later.

I've also tried to talk to the grandparents about thier excessive buying for him. Both of them think they are showing him love by buying him things. They get their feelings hurt when I tell them that they can't buy him things so they just keep the stuff at their house for him and never tell me about it! I've just let this one go!

Featured Answers

Other chores I have my now 9 year old do when he was six was dust on the weekends (which he enjoyed), fold his clothes (which takes training but they really can do it!) and clear off the table after dinner. That is not slave driving, it is teaching him responsibility. I tell my son that we are a family and each has responsiblities. It will help him to be more independent later in life. One dollar for each category sounds great. Too much math at this age could be confusing and frustrating for him.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I have a 2 year old little boy. I forsee this problem as well. I think that it is a good idea to start chores. I don't think that the ones that you have chosen are unreasonable, either. That is the problem with a lot of the kids these days...they don't know the value of a dollar, or the meaning of responsibility. My child, too, is spoiled. But, I firmly believe that there is a difference between spoiled and bratty. I wish that the grandparents wouldn't buy a bunch of toys, and instead put that money into a college fund. That may help, too. He should choose the charity that he wants to give to, Humane Society, library, church, food banks...that way can learn a lesson in the process. Hope this helps.

J. D.

2 moms found this helpful

You are on the right track!!! You aren't having him do too much and $3 is a perfect amount. For most adults they said you should put 5% of your paycheck into savings so that would be 15 cents a week and I wouldn't give more than 10 or 15% for charity.


1 mom found this helpful

I think $3 per week might not be enough. If you're having him split it three ways for saving, spending, charity (which I think is a GREAT idea), then he's not going to net that much monthly to spend, which will be frustrating for everyone.
We relied on some web sites for advice and went with $1.00 per year of age. So our 8 year old gets $8.00, and then we have him put half in savings.
As far as chores we do about the same as you-- feed the dog, clean his room, take out the trash, and a weekly pickup of the family room, removing all the toys that have crept in there during the week.
We also help him set goals of identifying his "big" purchases he wants to make outside of any weekly spending, like a video game, and show him how his weekly savings is adding up toward that goal. Trying to get him to see long term.
Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

Other chores I have my now 9 year old do when he was six was dust on the weekends (which he enjoyed), fold his clothes (which takes training but they really can do it!) and clear off the table after dinner. That is not slave driving, it is teaching him responsibility. I tell my son that we are a family and each has responsiblities. It will help him to be more independent later in life. One dollar for each category sounds great. Too much math at this age could be confusing and frustrating for him.

1 mom found this helpful


We had the same issue with our son, and when we were in counceling she told us to give him an allowance that is equal to his age and every year on his birthday he would get a raise. We have done that and since then we only have issues occasionally, because he doesn't like losing his money for any amount of time. He is now 16 and he has to pay his cell phone bill and pay if he wants to go to the movies or anything like that, so if he doesn't get his money, he doesn't go. Now, we also have a five year old that gets five dollars a week. That is to pay for whatever toy he really wants and if he asks for stuff in the store, I just ask him if he has saved his money, we go home and check and go from there. I don't have him take his money yet, and divide it up to charity, but we volunteer our time and do charity projects together. If you think about, if you try to divide up $3.00 a week, he's not going to have enough to really buy something at the end of the month, except candy.

I hope this helped. It has worked very nicely for us.


1 mom found this helpful

$3 is appropriate for a 6 year old and splitting it 3 ways is appropriate.

Make a goals chart for his 'spend' money. $4 a month will make him appreciate his toys and take care of the ones you buy him more. My son is currently saving his 'spend' money to pay for his brother's Christmas ornament that he broke.

Savings should be for a long-long term item. My 6 year old already knows that his savings account is for a car when he is old enough to drive. He even tells me how he is going to get a car with good gas mileage or a 4-wheeling vehicle that doesn't get good gas mileage!!

You may want to have him identify what charities to give his $1 a week to. Maybe it will be 25 cents to church, 25 cents to a local shelter, and 50 cents to another charity (let him choose the amount to go to different charities). There are also legitimate charities that allow you to 'sponsor' kids in another country for $25 a month. Maybe you could take his money and add your own to make a difference in another kids life.

1 mom found this helpful

go to this link
We have one of these and it's the perfect helper for children to do thier chores. It has cards with stickers you put on them showing different chores for them to do at different times. it's better explained on the site. My son is six and we've had ours for over a year and he loves it. It comes with plenty of extra cards and stickers for when things change. It also comes with little plastic coins they get for chores done. Then save and add up for special privliges or whatever you choose them to be for. Just remember to figure those things out first.
I don't think I gave it much justice just check it out.
Hope it all works out!!

1 mom found this helpful

My children have helped with laundry, cleaning their rooms, making their beds and rinsing their plates and loading the dishwasher since they were 6 and 8. They are now 11 and 13 and they do their chores without having to be asked. Their reward for making their beds in the morning and picking up their rooms is dessert. They are respectful of this rule and openly admit when they can't have dessert when they don't clean their rooms. These are things I expect them to do, so I don't give them an allowance for them, but I do pay them when they wash the windows, dust or sweep, etc..
I believe starting out with $3 is great! I also like the idea of teaching children to save money. I allow mine to spend 50% however they want and the other 50% goes into their savings account at the bank. Our church recommends the 10%-10%-80% rule, 10% to God, 10% to savings, 80% for living expenses and fun. I like your idea of 33%-33%-33%. Delayed gratification is something our younger generation does not understand. Working around the house and having to save up money to get something he wants is a great way to help teach this.
Since he's only 6, I would give him 3 separate piggy banks to put his money into so he can watch it add up. I use glass peppercorn jars with the labels removed as piggy banks for my kids. They have a wide opening on top and a cork lid. I like them for three reasons, they can see through it and see how much money they have, the opening on top is wide enough for them to get their money back out, and I've done my part to reduce, reuse, and recycle. : )
Congratulations! You are on your way to raising a responsible child! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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