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Most children think parents have an endless supply of money. When my oldest was around seven, I told him I didn’t have money for the toy he wanted he looked at me totally confused and said “but you have all those checks.” I realized it’s more difficult for children to understand the value of money than it was when I was a child. We learned about money at school and at home. People used the real currency that we held in our hands not piece of paper we wrote the amount on or a piece of plastic. Take one moment and just think what this looks like from a child’s viewpoint. To them there is a magic world that the adults just say and amount, and the magic money is rarely seen or felt.
I decided at that moment; I wanted my children to learn the value of a dollar. My goal was handling money for them would be like brushing their teeth. So natural that they wouldn’t even realize they were even doing it.
I took the three little ones to the office supply section of the store and picked up a poster board. Then I told the kids to pick out a package of small stickers. Boo Boo was only two, and I picked out a package of star stickers for him. The Barney ones he wanted were too large for my plan. When we got home we got out the yard stick and markers. On the shorter side of the board, I divided it into three different sections one for each child. Across the top of the board, we listed chores with a value and column for each. The last section was miscellaneous, and those items would be negotiated.
I explained to my children the money for nothing the old “allowance system” was now gone. We were replacing it with the new “The Skys the Limit Chore Chart.” The amount of money they receive on “pay day” would be up totally up to them. Being part of family everyone is expected to to things just to keep the home in good working order. Therefore, certain things around the house will not count on the chore chart. A couple examples are keeping your room clean and picking up the toys you got out. There are also things you can get billed for such as biting your brother or sister. Any surprise this is one Boo Boo got charged most for? If they did not do one of their family home chore and someone else did it, they got billed, and the child that did the job got paid for it. When one of the children did not pick up the toys they got out, I would tell them two times. The third time I brought up the subject was when I would tell their siblings the job was open for whoever wanted to do it. For some reason, the kids thoroughly enjoyed having their sibling pay them.
The chores were age appropriate as they got older things went from miscellaneous to regular based on their ability. The harder chores got more compensation than the easy ones. The nasty ones usually got the most like picking up dog dirt from the back yard was the highest ticket item. As things got moved onto the chore chart, things had to be removed. Making their beds is a good example because at 2,5, and 7 they were learning to make their bed by the time they were older and knew how it was expected as part of keeping their room clean.
The compensation for chores at first was not significant money. Making your own bed was .25. Boo Boo was 2 and just making his bed the wee one could make $1.75 a week. The other reason to start out with small amounts is you want them to trade in those chores for better ones like dusting when they get older.
While they were learning a chore, I would do it with them until they could do it properly by themselves. At that point, the compensation for the chore went up.
When the children did nothing they received nothing. After a couple times of getting nothing and watching their siblings go to the store and buy new treasures that problem disappeared. The children soon started counting the stickers and their value on their portion of the chore chart. It was neat to have them tally the amount then turn the “ticket” in for their payday. They would be paid after I reviewed the “ticket” then the first task at hand was to remove all the stickers. Which oddly became one of our fun family memories.
Originally posted 2013-04-17 01:27:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter