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Parenting: The difference between a bribe and reward

Parents say giving children rewards after they have met a goal is acceptable but not before that.

Published on Apr 27, 2014 6:13 PM

Aircraft handler Mahmood Ahmad and his housewife spouse know that when they return from breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings, their home will be spick and span.

Their youngest child, Mujahid, would have swept, mopped and tidied their five-room HDB flat in Tampines. It is the 13-year-old's turn to do so - and he does it without getting any reward.

The couple's three older children - a 19-year-old son who is in national service and two married daughters living on their own - were similarly trained.

Mr Mahmood, 57, says: "There's no such thing as giving him $10 to wash his clothes, iron them or wash the dishes after dinner. He's supposed to do it for a sense of family togetherness."

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Background story

"It's their responsibility to themselves and to the family. Doing the chores should not be viewed as a favour to their parents."

MS KELLY PANG on how doing household chores is not something that deserves a reward