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« Where is the Parenting Manual for times like this?! | Main | Three Times a Charm? »

November 16, 2008


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Tonggu Momma

In our house, chores that are daily or weekly repeaters don't earn money, but seasonal jobs do (leaf raking, weeding, helping put away holiday decorations, etc). I think you have to just find what works for y'all and be willing to change if you find it isn't working anymore.


Wise words, Tonggu Momma: you have to be flexible and re-evaluate as you go along, keeping what works and making alterations as needed.

But Zen Mama, if you think that giving your children responsibilities of their own will lessen your work, think again! ;-) Helping them learn to take responsibility is an important part of parenting, but at least initially it will be more work for you, not less. So prepare for that.

Your 4-year-old isn't ready for the same level of responsibilties as your 7-year-old, so factor that in when you think about alternating tasks from day to day or week to week. And be careful of assigning tasks on which someone else depends -- things like feeding the dog. It might be simple and well within their abilities, but since it's the dog that suffers if they don't do it, it's not the best type of task to start out with.

Ask them for input. Explain that they're getting old enough to take on more responsibilities and ask what they think might be appropriate daily and weekly tasks.

And be very sure you all understand the "rules" -- who is responsible for doing what, how often, and what the penalty is for not doing it. Ask the kids if they think a chart would help them to remember what needs to be done. When will the system be reviewed and evaluated and changes made, if necessary?

And let us know how it goes!


Enjoyed reading about the issue of chores, I’m on the “need to do it” side of things, not for $$. Think an allowance should be about learning to keep within a budget, giving, as in gifts, learning about how long it takes to save for something etc.

For chores, we did have a chart, reward system based, gold star was placed when the chores for the day were done, by the kids. At the end of a week if all was done, RARELY, they might get an extra dollar or 2, or a treat etc. Thought this showed them that work , & extra work was rewarded, but just ok was not rewarded.

It’s all so complicated, & you just don’t know the outcome for a long time. Think my kids did learn that great results required hard work. That $$ is worth working for but requires work & commitment to do it & that it can be very rewarding personally. They also learned about responsibility, that’s the biggy!

I remember my guys cleaning off the table each night, loading the dishwasher etc, & when I’d ask about anything else, they did that 1 finger by the side of their nose, which meant that they were off the hook & the other one had to do it! Not so good, but funny!

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