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Intrinsic Chore Drive, Suze Snippet, Credit Cards for 7 Year Olds: Weekly Family Finance Picks (#32)

We’re constantly scouring the Internet looking for articles related to family finances and teaching kids good personal finance habits. You can visit the FamZoo delicious page to see our ever growing list of family finance bookmarks. We’re up to 943 now! Each week, we pick our favorite articles from the previous week and post them here.

The picks for this week are:

Bribery or Intrinsic Motivation: Which Drives YOU?

Do Your Chores! NOW!!

Ever struggle to get your kids to do chores, homework, etc? Apparently, it’s all about harnessing your child’s “intrinsic motivation”.

Thanks to Dan Pink’s Drive, there’s a lot of discussion about intrinsic drive (self motivation) vs. extrinsic rewards (bribes) these days. Christine gives a quick rundown on the topic and in relation to getting your kids to complete chores, homework, and all those other tasks they typically hate to do.

Ahh, the Holy Grail of parenting! Tell me more!

It seems to me (and, remember, I’m just a Geek Dad-of-5, not a psychologist, sociologist, or whatever-ist), most kids struggle to appreciate the long term implications and value of certain habits that we as adults deem to be in their best interest (based on our own valid hindsight/experience). Makes sense to me: they’re kids. Their frontal lobes are still developing and they’re just starting to rack up life’s experiences. Therefore, tapping into their intrinsic motivation in these types of areas seems like an improbable if not herculean task.

Don’t get me wrong. I agree that intrinsic motivation is the most powerful form of motivation. I just can’t imagine a functional world without extrinsic forms of motivation as well — seems like practical scenarios require a balance of the two.

Nonetheless, Christine boldly asserts: “Next week I’ll be writing about how to harness kids’ intrinsic motivation to help them get their chores and their homework done — without complaints or nagging. Really.”

I may be skeptical, but I’ll be tuning in for sure!

Fiscal Prudence 101

My mother-in-law stumbled across this article while shopping at Costco. It’s about preparing teens for the real financial world, and it’s advice from famous personal finance guru, Suze Orman. I like her laser focus on just two key lessons: how credit cards really work and the value of saving money. See her short and sweet teaching tips for parents here.

Give Your Kid Some Credit

Robyn’s article caught my eye because she’s mapped out a very thoughtful, staged gameplan for teaching her 7 year old daughter about personal finance. I liked the emphasis on learning to spend within a budget and the realistic attitude towards introducing her child to credit cards.

The immediate jump from a piggy bank to a real online bank account and Mint.com might prove to be a bit abstract and inflexible for her daughter. (Insert FamZoo plug here ;-) But, I whole-heartedly applaud the thoughtful, explicit planning.

Check out Robyn’s gameplan here.

Bonus video: here’s a wonderfully clever and engaging animated adaptation of a brief talk by Dan Pink on motivation.

Two key things to note from the video when thinking about our first pick-of-the-week entry:

  • “Money is an effective motivator for simple straightforward tasks” (sounds like most chores to me!)
  • “If you don’t pay enough, people won’t be motivated.”

2 comments:

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds aka The Blog Post Author

A balance comes pretty naturally in our family. We just don't have stuff/money to give out for everything and it feels wrong for some things. When she asks, "what do I get for doing this?" I tell her she gets the joy of achieving something. She's only 5, so that "I can do it" moment is still pretty big. Hopefully we've started something that will last.

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Joey, thanks for stopping by to comment - I love the writing on your blog!

Yes, agreed about being selective. We actually don't pay for typical chores per se in our family. We give a modest allowance and we ding the kids with modest penalties when they don't complete a chore to encourage some accountability. (We have more of a "Chore Fail" chart.)

Our youngest still seems to enjoy chores and does them dutifully if not, gasp, happily. Just last weekend he said: "Dad, did you notice that I'm the only one that always does his chores?" Indeed! It's the teens that have the most "intrinsic motivation" gaps in the chore department! ;-)

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