Recently my kid's asked for pocket money for All (roll eyes) the chores they have to do around the house. That is the odd three or four jobs like making their bed, emptying the dishwasher and putting out the rubbish. Each takes a minute or two or even quicker if they didn't argue while doing it! I should add that it is not everyday and I generally have to finish off the job anyway. You know like when you hubby does the dishes but doesn't wipe down the sink and bench after? Gah it grates me every time! So you can imagine I laughed at their proposal and watched in delight their confused faces.
As they sat stating their reasons and made a solid case, I came to appreciate that they wanted to earn some money. In their discussion they were happy to take on more chores and promised to do them properly without me helping and them arguing.....yeah right. I told them that I would have a think about it and get back to them the next day.
Here was my thought process:
Yes to pocket money - They understand and appreciate you have to work to earn money something that I really wanted them to learn. I don't know if this happens to you with your kids but when my kids lose their school hat or one of their football's goes permanently flat, their response is we need to go to the shop right now and get a new one! Now don't be too quick to judge, my kids aren't spoilt brats, but they just have zero understanding that things aren't free and instant. Earning money to replace flat balls and broken or wanted toys would be a good lesson to change their attitude on this. Another reason was that I could also get out of buying a heap of crappy things they beg me for at the shops and now use their own money to decide if it's worth giving it up for.
No to pocket money - My general commitment to remembering to give it to them and having it ready is a major issue! Firstly thanks to pay pass I NEVER carry cash anymore. So that would mean actually having to take out money and then try not to spend it before giving it to them. Secondly the commitment thing. My shocking efforts with their weekly school banking is a good indicator that it won't last more than a few weeks. I am pretty good the first few weeks of each school term and then I just get over it. It's then a case of taking their bank books in when they remind me and I can find some random coins around the house or under the car seats. Thirdly, will they actually do these chores and keep doing them? The confidence level is significantly low.
Well it just so happened a few days after this important family debate that thanks to Kmart's clearance rack, Jack spotted the chore chart in the picture above. He came rushing over to me holding it and excitedly shouted I have found the best solution! Then explained that this chore chart worked like a point system so what if we earned points for our chores and then we could save up points to get money. The kid's idea was brilliant and for a $3 chore chart that was pretty cool in design, I responded with ok, let's give it a try.
Together we came up with reasonable chores and not an overload of them either. I quickly worked out that I could fully use this to my advantage like getting ready for school in the morning on time without me having to run around like a mad woman yelling and doing everything! Sound like your house in the morning? It was the first one I came up with but let them choose the rest, which was keeping their bedrooms tidy and bed's made, doing homework and readers, emptying the dishwasher, putting away washing neatly, taking out the rubbish, tidying up toys and then mine of being ready for school. Cam (hubby) also came up with dishing out extra points for help with random things around the house like gardening.
I can happily say we are at the week 6 point and still going strong and highly committed. As they reached money milestones with their points, they were able to decide if they wanted to keep going to $20 or hand over their points and take what they had reached. Jack wanting to replace his football has saved his points for the last six weeks and today after school, gets to buy a new one. You could imagine his excitement this morning after adding last week's points to his tally and seeing he's finally made it!
Hopefully this lasts a long time and if it doesn't I guess I can admit that it was great while it did. I can't remember the last time I emptied the dishwasher or put clothes away so no complaints from me!