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Articles by Mark Merrill


Mark Merrill

Mark Merrill is the founder and president of Family First, a widely respected national non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the family. read bio

5 Reasons Your Child Should Work

In today’s Family Minute radio program, I talked the importance of our children doing some manual labor either inside or outside of the home. Here are 5 reasons your child should work.

  1. We were all created to work and work is good. 
  2. Work is necessary for a productive life.
  3. Work teaches self-discipline. 
  4. Work is not only healthy for the body, but also healthy for the mind.
  5. When a child works, they learn to appreciate the work of others.


Since our children were created to work, how do we teach them to do so? Well, as you manage your home well, you’ll want to have a chore chart and be sure to assign age-appropriate chores to your children.  When my kids were growing up, we made a chore chart. I’ve got a free downloadable chore chart for you to use in your home. In the vertical column it had each of the chores listed including things like taking out the garbage, washing the dishes, yard work, making their bed, and cleaning their room. On the horizontal row, it had each of their names.  As they completed a chore they checked it off and then we reviewed it with them at the end of the week and awarded them with an allowance.

By doing chores, our children not only learn the value of hard work and its rewards, but it also gives us opportunities to teach them important life lessons. I remember doing some weeding in our yard with my children when they were young.  When I noticed them getting bored, I tossed out a question, “What would happen if we didn’t weed?”  “Well,” said my oldest daughter, “all the good stuff would die.”  I went on to explain how that’s true in our lives, and had them tell me some of the weeds we all need to watch for.  They came up with things like calling people names, lying, and being mean to other children.  We talked about how weeds choke out our joy and hurt our relationships.  It’s just like in the yard; if we don’t get rid of the weeds, the weeds will get rid of the good stuff.


As your children do chores around the house, consider rewarding them with an allowance. Use this opportunity to show your children how to be good stewards of their money. Teach your children how to save, spend, and share wisely. In our home, as our children were growing up, each of our children had three mason jars for their allowance. They received 50 cents allowance for each year. So, a 10 year old would receive five dollars per week.  Two dollars would be placed in the spend jar. Two dollars and fifty cents was deposited into the save jar and fifty cents in the share jar, to be given to church.

This short video shows how Bill Cosby had a fantastic way of teaching his children about money.

Do your children do chores around your house and do they get an allowance for doing so?

© 2011 Mark Merrill. All rights reserved. Originally published at

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