Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Living With Littles: Chores

There are lots and lots of blogs and Pinterest boards toting the best way to do chores with your child.  I find other family chore systems so interesting.  We approach ours in three different ways.

Family Chores:

We are a family and there are jobs we will do because we are a family.  Helping get ready for dinner and clean up dinner would be a way that we work together as a family.  Their is no reward for this.  We simply expect our children to chip in.
Baby Girl holding a root beer float at the park, one of our chore rewards
Daily, Personal Chores:

Every day we have a list of chores for our kids to do.  Usually they are doing around two to four chores each day which includes helping to pick up the house, bringing down the dirty clothes basket, cleaning the landing, watering plants, vacuuming, etc.  For every chore that our child completes they get a rock.  They can also earn up to three rocks per day based on their attitude while cleaning: happy heart, fast feet, diligent hands.  We are working together to fill a jar, when the jar is full we get a fun family activity.  For these jobs their is a reward but it's aimed at building family togetherness.
Sweet Pea with the elephant she worked several weeks to save up for.  We were so proud of her!

Paid Jobs:

We adapted this system from some friends.  We loved what they were doing but needed to modify it for our family.  Tony and I don't believe a child should necessarily get paid to do regular household jobs, we also don't believe in allowances.  However, we do want our children to learn about budgeting, tithing, and wise spending.

Each Saturday we make a list of "above and beyond jobs" for the kids.  This includes everything from washing down walls to picking up sticks in the yard to cleaning out the van.  These are jobs that we do not require our children to do on a regular basis but may need done on that Saturday.  Each job is given an amount of money its worth.

Starting with the earliest riser (past 6 am) and going to the latest riser we give the kids a chance to choose jobs.  We do not require that they sign up for a job, but if they do its theirs.  "Pay day" is at 5 pm.  We do not hound, pester, or remind the kids of their jobs.  If they are not done by 5 pm then they get to do the job for free.

Side Note: Due to Little Man's disabilities we tend to steer him to certain jobs.  We also require him to do his job immediately after breakfast.  He does not have to sign up for a job.  However, he does not understand the consequences of not working, so we do not allow him a choice in the matter.

It works like a charm.  We get a ton of work done very quickly on Saturday mornings, our kids are learning some great life skills, and they are learning money management.  It's also fun to see their desire to buy something drop when the realize that it's their money they must spend.  The first three weekends we did this we had a couple of kiddos work for free.  On occasion a child will decide playing outside or watching a movie is more fun the working and time slips away.  However, MOST of the fight of work is gone.

How does your family handle chores?  Do you pay your child to work?  How do you handle money management?

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