Do you make your kids do chores? Do you pay them? Do you have a chore chart?
I’ve seen many ways to do chore charts. The most recent one I’ve seen is using a bulletin board with chore items on it with the actual money attached: kid completes the chore and gets the money. In and of itself, I think this is a great idea; however, I was taken aback when I read some of the chores on the particular board I was looking at that could be performed for money, such as ‘make your bed’ and ‘help with dinner dishes.’ WHAAAAAT? I have to pay my child to take care of his possessions and be a contributing member of the family?
Chores For Character
As adults, there are ALWAYS jobs that need to be done whose only reward is the completion of the job itself. I’m certainly not doing my kids’ laundry and making their beds after they move out! Their spouse shouldn’t be solely responsible either. I also don’t want my child to be the worker who doesn’t clean up after themselves in the break room or only does something for recognition. I want my children to be prepared to manage their household and go above and beyond, being helpful and selfless at school, at work, and in all other areas of life. Good habits start now!
There are responsibilities that I would expect from anyone, such as clearing your dishes, picking up after yourself, throwing your trash out, etc. Although kids still need to be reminded to do these things, I don’t put them on their chore chart because I want them to become automatic responses.
Chores For Money
Working for their money brings many life lessons our children can carry into the future:
- It teaches them the value of money. And if they know the value of an item, they tend to appreciate it more (and take care of it better).
- It teaches them how to manage money. For example, they can open a savings account.
- It teaches them how to work towards a financial goal. For example, they can save their weekly earning to buy something big they’ve been wanting.
- It fosters a sense of pride: “I earned this myself!”
So, we have chores the kids do because they are a part of the family, AND chores they can do to earn money. We do chores both in the morning and again in the late afternoon. Once all “because-you-are-a-part-of-the-family” chores are done, they have an opportunity to do extra chores for money; however, they are not required to do them. Natural consequences of not working for money means you don’t have any money to buy that new Lego video game you really want. This also takes the responsibility off the parents and puts it on the child: You chose not to do your money chores, so because of your choices, you can’t buy your game today.
Below you will find our chore charts. Chores are separated into morning and evening chores, indicated by the sun and the moon. The money bag shows which chores can be done to earn money. You’ll notice spaces at the bottom for occasional/spontaneous money-earning chores like helping clean the garage.
My kids love their charts. They complete them with a high level of independence and (most days 🙂 ) with a happy heart.
One more thing I would suggest is rewarding initiative. This is a new concept for me (as it relates to chores), and something I have just started exercising. In an effort to help my kids learn to be more independent (not just in the doing of the chores but the starting of chores), I am rewarding them — sometimes monetarily, sometimes in other ways–when I see them start their chore chart or clean up a mess without being told. I don’t do it every time because I don’t want them to expect it, but I want them to know taking initiative is a good trait to have now, and they will be rewarded in the work force later.
Download both Chore Charts for free.
What do your chore charts look like? I would love to see them. Comment and attach pictures below.
Till Next Time,