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Chores For Computer Time, Not Allowance

Posted By Jim On 12/03/2007 @ 5:02 pm In The Home | 10 Comments

Here’s a clever idea I never thought about (mostly because I don’t have kids): Children perform chores in return for computer or video game time, not allowances. That’s the idea behind an article in the New York Times [3] today in which children earn “screen time” as opposed to dollars and cents for good behavior.

I really like this idea because it’s a lot like carbon credits (please bear with me). So a company does something bad for the environment, like pumping more CO2 into the air, in order to offset that they can do something good, like planing more trees. Well, this is the same idea as earning “screen time” because playing video games is “bad” whereas studying, reading a book, doing chores, is “good.” You can even throw in wrinkles like trading your chores for screen time with siblings, sort of like a secondary market for screen time!

Now, some parents might say that chores should be part of one’s duties and children shouldn’t feel like they should be rewarded for the things they should be doing. It’s the same argument as not tying allowances with chores but if you can get over that then this is a pretty solid idea. It’ll be a few more years before we’ll have a chance to implement it but it’s always good to be prepared.

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[3] New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/business/yourmoney/25allowance.html?ref=yourmoney

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