We can't be the only family that has this debate on what to do when it comes to teaching our kids the value of hardworking. Do we give them chores? An allowance? If so, how much do we pay them? What chores do we pay them for and what do we not pay them for? All the questions led to no action on our part. This year, we finally made a decision! There are a lot of different thought processes on this topic. We hope we made the right decision, just like every parent. We are by no means saying our way is the best way, but after much thought, debate, and conversation, this is the route we chose, and we hope it helps you in some way!. If you like it, we have a few free downloads for you at the end of the blog.
First we did some research. It gets so confusing when you read all the "experts" and studies that are out there. Some say don't pay your kids because it might kill their passion for that activity. For example, one study says if your kid loves art and you start paying them to produce art, then your son/daughter will only create art to get paid, instead of creating art because they find joy in it. The study said, after a parent stops paying to create art, the child stops creating art.
Other experts will say it depends on your son's or daughter's personality. Oh great, now I have three different personalities in our home and I need to create three different systems? It will be fun to watch their personalities differences. We have a spender, a saver, and one that has no clue what money is! :)
Other experts say an allowance is a good way for a kid to learn about money and how to handle it.
Some experts say some chores should be mandatory to show the kids responsibility and how to be clean/organized.
Considering all that "expert" advice, here is what we decided to do.
We have a "Chore Chart" & a "Did I Make Money Today?" chart. Both are free to download below. What is the difference between the two charts?
Let's talk about the Chore Chart first. Our kids do not get paid for chores, these tasks are an expectation for everyone to help around the house. At the bottom of the chore chart it says, "We do these chores because we are a family. Families work together, because we are BETTER TOGETHER!" Feel free to edit our Chore Chart and personalize it for your family. We choose a fitting Bible verse to put on the chart: How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity! Psalms 133:1.
We laminated our chore chart with a dry erase maker so it's easy to start a new week. A simple rinse and repeat. So far our kids love using a dry erase marker, so this is a good motivation and a reminder for them every day. It's also a good visual for them to see they made progress and we can point out how well they are doing & thank them for their hard work (and really praise them if they do the chores without us asking/nagging to do them) contributed to the family. Also, there will be some chores they will have to do before the TV ever gets turned on: make bed, brush teeth, and feed/water pets. Our goal is to have this running automatically for the new school year.
The plan is to read before nap/relax time for ten minutes. Ten minutes a day is a chore & if they choose to read an extra 10 minutes, we will pay them for it. One of our kids will probably do the extra reading every day, the other, we are hoping that paying him will give him more motivation.
Each kids will be responsible to clean the table for one meal a day. Fletcher will do breakfast, Shepherd lunch, and Hudson dinner.
Caring for our pets will also be on a rotation per week. We have three pets, each week the boys will rotate which pet they are taking care of. They are all fighting over taking care of the chickens.
Now let's talk about the "Did I Make Money Today" chart. The name of the chart speaks for itself. We weren't 100% sure if we should name the chart this, because we don't want our kids to be only focused on money. Our goal is to teach the kids that money is a tool and money in the hands of good people can do good things. In a later blog we will go into more detail about teaching our kids to do three things with money. Give. Save. Spend (wisely).
We laminated this chart too, that way it will be easy to wipe off every week and start over (or pull stickers off). The kids will get paid every Sunday. At that time, we will have the three "buckets" to fill (give, save, and spend).
Within the chart, we assigned an amount of money for certain tasks (you can download the Word document, and you can personalize these tasks for your family). If the boys do the task, they get paid. There are a few tasks I wanted to explain in more detail. They boys love playing basketball and I want them to continue playing for fun, but we are willing to pay them to do basketball drills. These are specific drills that will help them get gain better technique (and drills they don't exactly love to do).
All in all we have a few goals with our two charts.
Teach them responsibility.
Teach them work ethic.
Teach them that family is BETTER TOGETHER!
Teach them about money.
Help them improve skills (reading, sports)
Brevity's top five favorite books about money: