Is it valuable for our children to be learning to do things for others because it builds relationships and community? YES.
Isn’t it be beautiful to hear children asking to help others for the joy of helping others? YES.
High grades, stickers, money and other extrinsic rewards doesn’t make us superior, smarter, better. Nor does it make us feel personally happy or valued in the long run. Research has proven there is a mismatch about what we find fulfilling, enriching and motivating.
Asking children to raise money feels wrong to me, whether for chores or for school fund raisers.
Even giving an allowance (or ” if you do this for me, I’ll give you ______” ) to children for their home chores makes me feel sad.
A sense of belonging, of being needed, of personal motivation comes with doing things that need to get done for the benefit of all.
“Doing”, because you know it’s the right thing to do, builds self efficacy.
It takes effort to go against the flow of reward and punishment that are culturally and deeply ingrained.
It is challenging to go against the tide of this norm. The personal growth and wellness that is a natural outgrowth of service is well worth the attempt.