We all need to feel needed and to know that we’re making a contribution — even kids. “But they can’t feel that way if they don’t have chores and make contributions to the family,” states parenting experts Foster Cline and Jim Fay.
We’ve followed the Love & Logic philosophy since the kids were toddlers. While we haven’t always been consistent in all disciplines, the one strategy that really struck a cord with us was in regards to chores.
There is so much power to an effective chores system. Even the words you use to discuss chores with your child impacts how she perceives the activity and experiences the “lesson”. So, for example, Love & Logic suggests referring to daily “chores” like making the bed, picking up your room, and helping to set the table as “contributions”.
Contributions are part of being a family, of being valued and needed, and working together to make a household function well. The approach, a simple change in language, considers the family unit and the home in a way that is sure to cultivate a respect and responsibility for these things over the long term.
Chores are something everyone in the family does to contribute to the family. They are part of being needed and valued by the family. Chores teach responsibility.
Since they were toddlers, the kids have contributed to the needs of the family. We all do our part to help things run smoothly. Here is a list of their daily responsibilities:
• Keeping up with their schoolwork and completing the assigned tasks each week
• Pet care (daily feeding and cleaning of cages)
• Making their bed and keeping their room orderly / picked up
• Putting their school materials & swim gear put away properly
• Cleaning up after themselves (putting their art materials away when finished with them, for example)
• Helping to carry in groceries and put them away properly
• Clearing their setting and cleaning up after meals
• Keeping their bathroom tidy
• Personal care daily
Their failure to follow through may forfeit their earnings that week. This is not to say there are not roadblocks and pot-holes along the way, but we strive to make improvements individually and as a family.
Parents are not just responsible for providing food, clothing, and shelter for their kids. They are also responsible for teaching their kids about life—and life includes handling money.
Guiding your children in the choices they make with money is HUGE! The lessons you teach them as they earn money and learn to spend, save and give will lay an influential foundation for their lives. ~ Dave Ramsey
You can begin to teach kids about money as young as pre-school age; here are 9 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Money. Just think about it: if your kids can grasp this money stuff early on, they’ll avoid many of the pitfalls later.
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In addition to their contributions or responsibilities to the family, our kids have many opportunities to earn commissions. As they have gotten older, the jobs have increased in time input and difficulty (and thereby also pay a larger commission).
In the infographic above, you can see the variety of ways in which our kids can earn commissions. Pay has been negotiated over the years and is related to the time in which it takes to complete the job. The jobs with an asterisk are required. As such, three of these jobs are assigned to each child every week. The other jobs are optional.
We certainly are not confined by this list. Additional jobs and opportunities arise throughout the course of the year. The kids have even worked on commission for their grandparents undertaking a variety of tasks. Friends of ours have farm animals and responsibilities associated with life on a farm.
How about you? In what ways have your children earned spending money?
Join me next week as I share with you creative ways kids can boost their earning power with entrepreneurial efforts.