Friday, June 11, 2010

Payday!

I admit it. I go a little crazy when my house is a mess and chaotic. I had this distorted vision of what my future family and home would be like when I was young. My home would always be clean, my kids would have jobs and responsibilities, they would never fight or be allowed to call each other names, my home would be a little piece of heaven at all times. Fast forward a few decades . . . heaven? Not even close (well maybe around 10 pm when they are all sleeping quietly in their own beds). Unfortunately, my kids do fight and call each other names. And it's been impossible to maintain any kind of order in the house on weekends with everyone in the house at the same time. I knew something needed to change if we were going to survive the summer together.

The last few summers, I implemented job charts with coupons the kids could earn. Shop til you drop with mom. Un-birthday party. Spend the day at work with dad. Movie night. Bowling with a friend. Build-a-bear excursion. It was a great idea but I was terrible at following through on the coupons. The kids earned them but rarely got to do what was on the coupon. I knew I needed to do something differently this time around.

Every parenting book seems to agree that it's not good to have an allowance dependent on chores completed. Kids should do their chores because that's what is expected of them and part of their responsibility in the family. Blah, blah, blah. I had to figure out something that would motivate my kids to do their jobs without me asking and reminding them all day long. And money was the best motivator.

They can earn $5.00 every week for doing all of their jobs right when they wake up. I'll help them but I'm not free. I charge $.25 for each chore they leave for me. I also charge $.25 for each piece of clean laundry that ends up on the laundry room floor (one child found this was the quickest way to clean his room). Jack and Ryan were very excited about the possibility of earning $5/week. Hadley, not so much. She's my child who enjoys serving. She said she didn't want any money for doing her jobs. I explained what the money could be used for--slurpees, shaved ice, shakes, birthday gifts, father's day, bowling, movies and popcorn, etc. All things my kids love!

The first week went pretty well. The house stayed clean (which is quite the accomplishment with 6 kids), they were able play with friends and there was order in the home. Jack and Ryan both lost a few quarters along the way (Jack paid me $.25 to do the dishes last night) but were all happy to get their money today. All but Hadley. She still didn't want to take her $5 but I forced her to take it and now she can go get a father's day gift with the money. It's amazing how excited they all were to do their jobs this morning with the new job lists posted and money in their wallets. Hopefully the excitement will last for 9 more weeks.

Weekly Job Lists



The kids had this great idea of taping a pen on their job lists. Morgan had a better idea. . . taking the pen off of the list and drawing all over the wall.

I need to let this cute girl do more. I realized this morning that she'd never vacuumed before. I showed her how to do it and let her loose. She loved it and actually did a good job (if you don't care too much about the vacuum going full speed into the chairs, couch and tv console). Looks like it's time for a new job list to be added to the wall. Welcome to the world of daily chores, Morgan!

19 comments:

Andrea said...

We had allowances based on if we did our chores growing up and I loved it. I thought it taught me the importance of having a job and earning money. I didn't know some people didn't think it was a good idea. I hope your method works!

grandma bethany said...

Have to admit I did laugh at Morgan's 'art work'. I do remember paying for jobs done, until I asked one sibling (won't incriminate the guilty) to carry empty milk bottles to the front porch to the Winder Dairy box. I was then asked how much money did the person get. That is when I decided to try a new philosophy. I do like your idea of kids having to pay you if you do their job. Do you remember the work chart I made at RS with the nails and washers? That worked for a while, but seems like every plan is temporary.

Kristin said...

Have you read that book by Merrilee Boyack? ...something about training your kids to be independent? I read it a few years too early, before Piper was even walking. This post makes me want to go back and re-read it. I make a chore chart (with pictures since Piper can't read yet) and when it's complete, it takes a good 3 weeks to get another one up.
Good luck!

Jenny said...

LOVE IT! Such a great idea, I'm going to have to steal it to use around here!!

Toni Mehraban said...

i can'y wait for my kids to do chores. isn't that why we have kids in the first place? ;-)

DKAZ said...

I am loving your family room. My kids had the same idea as Morgan...except worse. I'm gonna have to see if I have those pictures and do a post about our job chart and it's demise. Good on ya for trying. Good luck with the next 9 weeks.

Vennesa said...

Good luck with the chore charts! I've done the the same thing you've done in the past: I come up with a great idea and then gradually start slacking on the follow through.
I think Hadley and London would get along great by the way!

Tracy said...

I like the chore sheets. I have been trying the same thing with my kids, but I have not been nearly so organized. I am glad to see from your post and the commments that I am not the only one that has trouble following though with my plan, too.

Wren said...

What a GREAT idea! I love that they have to pay to have you help with chores...such motivation for them to keep all of their money. I'm going to have to store this in my memory somewhere because I have a ways to go before my boys can do chores, but that day will come!!!

Jazzaholic said...

Good Luck!
We tried something like this with our kids and they were just horrible ;-)
DAD

kecia said...

good ideas!! I am always in need of some new ideas! I LOVE that Morgan loved the vacuuming! Way to go morgan!

Emily said...

Very cute idea! Seriously... I'll have to try that... when I have enough money to pay my children! lol

Carin said...

Love it... and that would totally be our wall -- a beautiful work of art by Miss Rylee herself! lol I have been dragging my feet on how to go about a chore chart for the kids... there are many things the kids already do, and fortunately, at this point, a good 'ole "way to go!" from Mom has been enough of a reward! (I am not so foolish to think that will work forever!) Thanks for sharing your "system!" Hope it lasts!! *wink*

Brittany said...

Man, maybe this will inspire me. i have got to get my kids doing more, but I always feel like it's so much work for me to get them to do THEIR chores! Keep me posted on how it's going!

Lisa said...

Heather, I really appreciate this post! I have been struggling with getting my kids to do more around the house. I really want to instill in them a sense of responsibility and teamwork. I do have them do certain household chores, but I think not nearly enough. Anyway, I sat down and made a list of all the household chores they could be doing between them, and I think I'm going to steal your chore charts :)

Cindi Pugmire said...

Love the post and it was nice to show Ben everyone has chores as he is convinced he is the only boy who has them:)!!! Good luck!

Cheri said...

way to go Morgan.. I think it's great to put them to work the earlier the better.

Katy said...

I love it. You've inspired me to do the same. We have a 3 month long party going on over here, and only one person willing to clean up between party waves. (I'm sure you can guess who that person may be:) Time to get out "the chart!"

ParkerMama said...

It is hard to keep everyone doing their jobs! Your chore charts look great.

Man, the picture of Morgan's artwork gave me the biggest grin. :)

Tammy and Parker
www.prayingforparker.com