Allowing for household chores

DEAR HARRY: My wife and I have been married eight years. Before we got married, we discussed many things related to our new lives, especially finances. We saw pretty much eye-to-eye across the board, but we missed talking about money in relation to children. We have a son who will turn 7 in a few weeks, and we are discussing an allowance and relating it to household chores (simple things like emptying the dishwasher and taking out the trash). My wife insists that the allowance will teach him to handle money responsibly, resist the drive for instant gratification, and learn how to distinguish wants from needs. She thinks that chores are part of family living and should not be required to earn money. My thoughts are diametrically opposed. I want him to earn his allowance by doing the chores we assign to him. If he doesn't work, he doesn't get paid. That's a lesson to learn early and often. Where do you stand?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: Call me a softy, but I stand firmly with your wife. Chores are a part of family living. Each person in the household has things to do. The allowance is not really related. At a far distant time, we got allowances unrelated to chores. So did our children. Our allowances stopped when we earned enough money outside the home. Mine stopped when I earned more money than my allowance . . . but the chores continued.

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