I get asked these questions about Chores & Allowance for Kids a lot; and I see them all over the mommy boards too. . .
Do you make your kids do chores? Do you pay them? Don’t you think there are responsibilities they shouldn’t get paid for? Yes, Yes, and Yes.
Don’t you think they have enough pressure with school? Don’t you feel like it’s the parent’s job to do all the house work? When will they have time to just “be kids” . . . The answers, nope, hell nope, and oh darling they get to be kids 100% of their life. They have waaay more free time than anyone else in my house. The fact of the matter is, house work is never complete and it is our job to raise our kids to be functioning members of society.
My kids want an allowance, but won’t they just blow it on stupid stuff? Uhm yes, most likely they will but don’t you buy them stupid stuff already? Plus, working for money, is way different than being handed money.
Ughhh! It’s so annoying. My kids don’t listen. Isn’t it just easier to do it yourself? Yes! Of course! It is usually faster and easier for me to do these myself, but one day, hopefully soon: all this training is going to pay off.
But what about the boys? Most chores are women’s work. The question I loathe the most. Please, it’s 2016. Boys need to be responsible thriving adults too. They can handle it. I can assure you.
Creating a chore system with or without payment does not mean your kid is leveraged into a life of indentured servitude; scrubbing toilets and sweeping the chimney day-after-day. My kids have a great life. So do yours. Teaching your kids responsibilities, chores, real life consequences and money management; is training them for this big scary world we are sending them into. Throw the Mommy guilt out the window!
At my house, we keep it simple. Here is an outline of our current system, which has worked the best for us so far. I’m sure you will come up with your own appropriate list of tasks, this will help to get you started.
Responsibilities- These items are required and the payment is allowing them to live under our roof like the little freeloaders they are. Plus, all the extra-curricular’s we pay for: ice skating, dance, soccer, girl scouts, vacations, clothes, shoes, air conditioning, clean water. The whole bit. Both my kiddos 9 & 4, are responsible for all of these on the regular.
- Set the table
- Clear the table
- Bring toys and crap back to your room
- All dirty laundry into hamper
- Bring out full hamper for washing
- Put folded laundry away
- Feed the cat
- Tidy their rooms (50% of the time this comes with my assistance but my hard and fast rule is “If you stop cleaning, then I stop cleaning” As you already know Screen Time is not promised in our house and a clean room requires it! Change Screen Time Forever With One Simple Rule <–
Paid Chores- Some of these are required throughout the week, but some are dependent on scheduling and need.
- Unload the dishwasher
- Windex bathroom mirrors
- Bringing garbage to the curb for pickup, and bringing the cans back in after.
- Dust & polish high cabinets
- Vacuuming own room or any room
- Fold Clothes
- Spur of the moment tasks
- Empty the shoe basket
- Empty the bathroom garbage’s
- Dust & Polish low cabinets
- Plus some impromptu tasks like sorting laundry or putting supplies away.
Reward time! With responsibility comes praise, with chores comes payment. Aside from a great work ethic, chores also teach kids the value of a dollar and money management. We LOVE the Melissa & Doug chore chart. Any sticker/reward charts are great for littler kids and managing the routine. But I firmly believe in paying real money to kids over 3, or once you feel they understand. It also really helps the kids who want everything! Because in the real world, you have to earn it.
Allowance for Kids Chore charts are great but I try to keep a supply of singles and quarters on hand to pay them right away. Instant gratification is an excellent motivator. Here’s my policy on what to do with it next. My kids are required to save half. So half goes into the piggy bank and half goes into their wallet. My almost ten-year-old has been able to save at least $100 a year that gets deposited into her savings account every summer. The other half you ask? They spend it on anything they want, whenever they want. Because teaching them the value of a dollar also means letting them learn some hard consequences about spending it. They mostly choose toys and trinkets but have also donated money, bought presents, books and treats. And that’s okay. You make teaching moments along the way about sales, internet shopping and financing. Oh yeah, financing. One summer my oldest was desperate for this $100 mermaid tail that she could wear in the pool. Well she didn’t have half that. Since the tails were hard to come by, we had found while vacationing at a Hilton Resort, I negotiated a loan on the spot. The deal was simple. She had a time period to work it off interest free. After that I had an interest plan for her to pay off. It was all there in writing, with cute play money and a visual fundraising chart for her to stare at every day. It was summer time and she had the time to put in extra chores. She worked it off within the time frame and was so proud of herself for not having to pay extra money for the privilege of borrowing. My little one is still learning. She spends her $$ the minute she can, but has also had the hurt of wanting something when she is broke.
So for those of you looking for a simple and effective system, I hope this helps. We are a few months into the school year. Homework and sports routines are established, so now is a great time to put your kids on a chores system! I know I’m not alone here- – share with us in the comments your best chores system!