Sometimes, trying to teach kids about money and chores is painful!

My eldest daughter (10) is desperately willing to ‘up’ her chores quota in order to earn more allowance, but when asked what she is willing to do for the extra money, she draws a blank. It appears she’s very willing to TALK about it, but very slow to take ACTION to get what she wants. That kind of attitude makes my ‘parent alert’ bell ring!

At the weekend my son (9) was tasked with sorting the socks (for $2) but got bored half way through the job and declared he’d finished. When he asked why I only paid him $1, he was told “half the money for half the job”. But instead of going back to the job (to get paid the full amount), he just shrugged his shoulders and took the $1 – queue parent alert!

At church on Sunday my youngest (6) was given $1 to put in the collection box. When handed the money she promptly opened her purse, put the $1 in, took out a cent and popped it in the box as it whizzed by her. When I reprimanded her, her ‘innocent’ reply was “What? They both have a one on them!” Alert! Alert! Alert!

My husband and I try to never miss a ‘teaching’ opportunity but as you can read from the scenarios above, it’s a work in process.

I agree with mamapedia that chores should be linked to a kids allowance but I’ve learnt that it’s not enough to just tell my kids what they have to do (when I do, I can practically see the info go in one ear and out the other!). I must also take action to really bring it home! Queue help from the smartwall in our kitchen (which is a wall we can write on like a whiteboard) and the Smorgasbord Of Xtra Wonga Chores!

Why is it called the ‘Smorgasbord of Xtra Wonga Chores’ you might ask?

Well, ‘smorgasbord’ because it’s a funny word for a ‘pick and mix’ that I know my weird and wonderful kids will remember, and ‘Xtra Wonga’ because in our house, it’s a given that baseline ‘chores’ (like making your own bed) are a ‘have to do’ not a ‘get paid to do’. Like moneypeach, I don’t want to raise my kids with an ‘entitlement’ attitude. I don’t get paid for doing the endless laundry (etc.), their dad doesn’t get paid to taxi them, and they shouldn’t learn to put a price tag on every action. That’s life.

As you can see from the picture, I’ve listed a lot of the ‘old faithful’s’ on the wall, such as ‘set the table for Sunday dinner’ and ‘put the bin out Friday morning’…but did you notice my sneaky addition?

They get DOUBLE the money if they do the chore without being asked!

I think I’m a genius and I’ll be up for ‘Parent Of The Year’ if it works!

So far so good.

In the last week alone, I’ve handed over an extra $6 for completed chores I didn’t have to nag them to do!

I hope it lasts. I’ll keep you posted on progress!

Here’s a photograph of our wall…as you can see I’m no Picasso, but it gets the point across!

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