Thursday, August 04, 2011

How Do You Do Things At Your House?

I have a dilemma here, and would love to have the input of all the mommies who happen by this page. Ross and I have been trying to decide how to go about assigning chores and allowance for our children. They already have daily tasks that they are to accomplish (cleaning their rooms, making their beds, setting the table, picking up their bathroom, folding their laundry, etc.).

More get added as they get older and more able, and they are expected to lend a hand with whatever tasks Ross and I do. It has worked well, and they actually enjoy helping us and feeling like big kids (well, most of the time anyway). We have yet to really pay them anything, which is where the dilemma comes in.

I think it is super important for children to have and earn their own funds to spend as they wish. I think this teaches them a lot about counting money, making transactions, calculating purchases, learning the worth of a dollar, the joy of saving up for a big purchase, taking care of and keeping track of their own money, and many other things.

I ALSO think it is important that children not equate household chores with money. I feel that kids should do their chores because that is a responsible thing to do rather than because they will be monetarily rewarded for it. I want them to be rewarded with a clean home and usable skills. I want them to value the happy and tidy environment of the home more than the dollar store items that wait in store for them. I want them to do a good and thorough job of their chores because they care about completing their duties well rather than doing the bare minimum required to get their alloted amount of money per job. Does that make sense?

So, how do I go about marrying these two parenting ideals? How can my children learn to earn and keep track of money without looking to get something for every household chore they do? Do I have to let one of these go? What do you do in your house? What has worked, or NOT worked for you?


Ashley W. said...

When I was little, I didn't get paid for my regular chores because it was what was expected of us. If I wanted to earn some money, my mom had a list of "Extra" chores or things that needed to be done around the house that I could do.

But, since Kit is only 7 weeks old...I haven't crossed this path in my home yet. But this is most likely what I am going to do.

Amy said...

I NEVER got paid to do chores. My mom's thoughts were -- you live here so you help. I don't pay my kids to do their chores. They learn saving/spending and all of that because they ask for $$ for birthdays and Christmas presents.

To teach them "money skills" they have opportunities to earn euros. We have a rewards chart that explains the rewards: euros can be redeemed for a $1 treat, up to a night out to dinner with mom or dad. There's even one where they can turn the euros in for $10 cash. I think it teaches them to save for something better, and it also teaches them addition too. Or, if they want a quick reward, they can earn a $1 gas station treat almost once a week.

Before the euros, when they were your kids' ages, we had glass bud vases that the kids would fill with pinto beans. Each chore or good behavior would earn them some beans, and they would put those beans into their own vase. There were permanent marker lines drawn on the sides of the vase that would mark a reward point. When they got to a reward they wanted, they would empty their vase, get their reward (pretty similar to our rewards now), and then start over.

As for "extra" money, both Chris and I were raised expected to find outside sources to make that extra money. I was a babysitting queen and Chris mowed his neighbor's lawns all summer long for years. I think we'll expect the same thing from our kids, but we'll see how that plays out when they're a little bit older.

This was really long. Sorry!!

Ellen Raquel said...

You're an awesome mom, did you know that?? A real example to me! Well, I totally understand your parenting ideals, and agree 100% with them. I think Ashley's idea is a good one. Like the chores they already do, they're not gonna be rewarded for them, but extra ones (and harder ones, for that matter), they could get something. I haven't really thought about this deal because I still have some time. So I wish you a lot of luck, so you can figure this out and explain and help me later :) hehe You rock, honey! I miss you!

Carrie said...

I give $ for extra chores only after regular chores are done.

mostlyprobably said...

We never got an allowance like most of my friends' did and we all learned to work by doing our regular chores around the house. If there was something extra that needed to be done we had extra chores that were usually big and involved and took all day for us littles to do that we could do and get paid. Worked for us.

Southern Spud said...

I think you're right on target, but of course that's also the same way I feel. ;) I really like the idea of having a list of extra chores the kids can do to earn money. When they get a little older, helping them find other jobs (mommy's helper when too young to babysit, pet feeding/walking, etc.) is great. But it's really important that they actually learn the skills they'd need to have to perform any of the jobs they're asked to do properly. I've hired some kids to work for me before who certainly did not have those basic skills--a bit of an eye opener!

Same thing goes with the job finding/applying. Telling a 16-yr-old to go out and get a job works for some kids, but others need more guidance. It's so important to know your kids strengths and weaknesses so you know where they're going to need extra help.

Also, and this doesn't sound like it'll be an issue for you (just me on my soap box ;) ), but MAKE SURE YOU'RE CONSISTENT and that YOU FOLLOW THROUGH. My parents had difficulty with that, and it was frustrating and ruined my motivation to do well when I didn't receive my promised rewards after a good job done. It also certainly didn't help me have a trusting relationship with my parents, which is so essential for children, especially through those rocky teenage years. They need to know they can depend on you to do what you say you'll do, just as we expect them to. Of course, if something comes up that truly prevents it, that's also an important thing for them--and us--to understand. Sometimes life just gets in the way. But, in general, we've got to follow-through! (Okay, getting off my soap box now....) ;)