"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Monday, June 14, 2010

Work Hard For Your Money

I've decided to start giving the kids an allowance.

I know this is a hot topic with parents. Some don't think kids deserve payment for doing things they should already do. Others don't want their precious babies to get hurt feelings when they fail at something. Mainly, I want the kids to help out a little more and stop asking for toys whenever we go shopping. Still, there are some things that I won't pay them to do; that they should do anyway, simply because they belong to our herd.

So I'm putting together a chore chart. For the two older kids, I've got three daily chores, three weekly chores, and then a selection of optional chores for a little extra money. Here's where the Man and I have disagreed...he thinks the kids can do a whole lot more and I think they're kids! But I am willing to try it out and let them impress me.

Da Boo's daily chores consist of Bedroom Check (bed made, no clothes on the floor), Piano/Homework, and 5-Toy Pick Up. Weekly tasks are Hamster Cage, Smudge Patrol (disinfecting wipe and an area of wall space to clean), and setting the table. For a successful week of work, she can expect one dollar. I hesitated to add piano because that's more of a privilege than a chore but she doesn't always agree with that sentiment.

The Boy's chores were a little harder to come up with, but daily, he has Bedroom Check, Homework, and 5-Toy Pick Up. Every week, he gets to help clear the table one night, empty the Shoe Basket (where all our shoes seem to congregate when they're not on our feet), and feeding the Shredder (part of my paper-clearing strategy). And if the Boy manages to complete all this during the week, he'll get one dollar.

Optionals chores don't currently have price tags. I don't want to give them a quarter per job but a dime seems a little on the low side. But if they've completed their daily and weekly chores, they'll have the option to earn extra money by going on a Smudge Patrol, helping with Baby, sorting socks from the laundry (something I never get around to), finishing worksheets, and then various forms of torture encouragement that I devise spontaneously.

Now, here's where I'd normally open the floor to discussion amongst my readers (all three of you), but I should tell you that I reserve the right to ignore any and all criticism advice in the comments. However, I would like to hear what you do at your house...provided you agree with everything I'm planning and you tell me that I'm beautiful. And skinny. And incredibly talented. Good? Good.


The Slothower Family said...

Incredibly skinny, beautiful and talented you most certainly ARE!!! We just started the allowence/chore chart thingy too. I LOVE it!!! It has been really nice to say "what is on the chore chart for today?" We started it because it something Kolby has to do to earn his wolf badge in scouts. He is WAY more excited about it than Riley. Lily's main job after helping pick up toys (she stinks at that job BTW) is helping me unload the dishwasher. She has done this since she could walk so it seemed fitting. I think she may know more than Kalani where things in the kitchen go.

I think kids need to know what work is before they get a job. Paying them teaches them that they have to earn things. There are jobs they do cause they are part of the family and then there are chores. Good for you! You will have to let me know how it goes.

The Slothower Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay said...

I started a job chart on myjobchart.com and I love it. The best part? The kids love it. It is a good way for me to have all the chores organized, then they get points for chores done and they can use the points however they want. One things they can choose is money if they so desire. My issue is, I forget to have them log in and check off their chores that have been done. I'm horrible at being consistent on jobs. I think your jobs sound reasonable, and simple. Good for you!! (AND, I think you are beautiful!) :)

Kristina P. said...

I think these all sound very reasonable.

Nat said...

You are beautiful, skinny, incredibly talented...and a little short! :)

I think chores are great for kids. My kids all have their daily chores and they get extra jobs when they fight. I like the idea of allowance. I can't belive I didn't think of it until now. My oldest is 9 1/2!!

Your two oldest kids are the same ages as my middle two. Since I have been put on strict bed rest (BOO!) I have been amazed at what they can do! My 7 year old made lunch for everyone yesterday, AND he cleaned it up! I mean, yes, all it was was PBJ, bananas and milk, but he did it! Your kids might be able to handle more than you think!

Brooke said...

We do chores, not quite as organized as you (we should get be more organized), but there's no payment. They get dinner and a place to live and have way too much stuff if you ask me. We'll talk payment when we determine there's a need for spending money. On that note, my vote for the extra chores would be a dime, but then again, you know my background, so my opinion may not be valid.
Sounds great, hope it makes all the difference you're looking for!

Riddle Girl said...

I think everyone knows what will work with their own kids. So you are on the right track if you even have a plan in place!

Such a good post idea. We have been doing something with our girls (but they are a bit older). I think I will have to do a post about it so they have record of it when their kids get older.
We use Monopoly money for all the things they do. At the end of the month they get a bill for rent, utilities, food and entertainment. Whatever is left is turned in to real money.

Stacy Q said...

I agree with you on the allowance thing, it's kind of a mess. But I prefer bribery to begging. So We settled on a weekly allowance of a dollar. Which I found opened a whole new set of problems - I forget to pay it, I never have a dollar in my wallet when they remind me, they never have their money with them when they want to spend it.
So I recently made my daughters (6 & 8) each a checkbook, small enough for me to put in my purse. Their checkbooks have a big register portion in the front to keep track of what I've paid them, so I know for sure when I owe them for back allowance, and also for them to record their purchases. I went online and found a check that I modified and printed out for them, since I thought actually writing out a check would help them grasp that they really are spending money. So many parenting aids we try lose momentum, but I'm hoping this one doesn't.

Olivia said...

Gabe has a chore list he works with every week. Several months ago, he was busy dusting the end tables when he paused and in all seriousness said, "Mom, now I understand what it feels like to be a slave." While struggling with my desire to burst into gales of laughter, I put on my most serious face and listed out the many chores I do for him on a daily basis. He seemed genuinely shocked while he considered my many acts of slavery. He silently contemplated them for awhile and then came to me with a "deal". If I would continue all my chores for him, he would show his appreciation by making my bed and mopping the floors for me. This has yet to happen, but I sure appreciated his sweet offer. Ha!

Mary said...

Sounds like a great plan (and I'm not just saying that so you don't delete my comment)! My friend did a toy treasure chest that her kids got to earn points for. You know what will work for your kids, no one else knows them better :o)

elesa said...

That is exactly how I always planned to do it. I wonder if i can get my husband to do chores for money?

Rupper Family said...

You're beautiful!
I've been slacking now that it's summertime, but we have a chart with daily chores which I switch out depending on what needs doing. I also added "Mom's Helper" as a chore, which means they do little stuff I come up with throughout the day. I came up with a few small things for my boy too like "garbage man" (empty all trash cans in the house) and "laundry collector" (get a huge Ikea sack and gather everybodys dirty duds). Instead of money, on Monday nights we plan a fun outing for the weekend and if the chores are completed everyone gets to go. We also had a "Nickel Man" for awhile (who's been slacking on his job too). We would announce his arrival nightly and the kids had 20 minutes to put toys away in the family room or they'd have to pay Dad a nickel to get them back, or they could earn a toy back for perfect cleaning the next day. (the box of toys I eventually dumped in the DI box if they didn't want/earn them back).

Mamarazzi said...

sounds like you have a really good plan going...

I am stopping by to invite you to come play in my Red, White and Blue Swap! I am taking RSVPs right now and I didn't want you to miss out!!

Anonymous said...

My kids do chores, but they are not tied in with allowance. My thoughts are that they live in this house too, so why do I need to pay them to help take care of it.

We also don't really do allowance, but they can earn money doing "odd jobs" that are not on their chore list.

I think three is a great number to start at, and you can always add more as it seems warrented.

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

I think it's absolutely worth it to spend your time teaching your kids to do chores, etc. Having had roommates that never did chores, I now feel it's an important part of raising children. I'm still undecided on where I fall on the allowance issue. I see pros and cons for both sides. But my girls still have chores that include making their bed everyday, unloading half the dishwasher (silverware & kid dishes), dusting, putting away their own laundry, cleaning up toys each day and my 5 year old folds her own sock & panties. It's really amazing how much they can do.

When we were going to Disneyland they each earned their spending money. Of course, this was compensated with mom & dad because Disneyland is expensive. But it was a great motivator and prevented quite a bit of the "can I have that" at Disneyland.

And to make my comment even longer, one day when I was talking to my 5 yo about chores, etc. I commented that even though she got paid for her extra chores to earn money for Disneyland, Mommy doesn't get paid at all for everything she does. She was shocked! And even at her young age, I think it made a big impression. She appreciates things I do more and tries to help out more.

Good job on the chore chart!
Also you're fabulous, beautiful, skinny, incredibly talented and a good mom.

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