Teaching Our Teens About Money – Part 1: Earning Commissions (free printable)

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.

Teaching Our Kids About Money (free printable) @EvaVarga.netThere 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”.

Family 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.

Teaching Our Kids About Money (free printable) @EvaVarga.netEarning Commissions

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.

Teaching Our Kids About Money (free printable) @EvaVarga.net

 

—> Download the free Earning Commissions printable here! <—

 

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.

How We Found Harmony with Love and Logic

When the kids were toddlers, we used Love & Logic strategies and they worked like a charm. As the kids got older, we strayed and their behavior worsened.  Hubby & I recently revisited the philosophies of Love & Logic and have begun to re-implement the strategies we’d had such success with in the past.  In doing so, we have found harmony and peace in our home once more.

love & logic

When the kids were toddlers, I had read Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting From Birth to Six Years.  This book was particularly helpful to me because I tend to react emotionally rather than logically. It offered practical steps really worked. The book emphasizes the value of children experiencing the natural consequences of their actions (logic) while simultaneously encouraging parents to empathize with their children prior to disciplining (love).

When I took a step back and reflected on my son’s behavior, I realized that I had become lazy.  I was not longer consistent and he began to react accordingly – testing and pushing the boundaries. While I had the skills, I had begun to let my emotions lead me.

I thereby picked up a copy of Love and Logic Magic When Kids Leave You Speechless to refresh my memory of the Love & Logic strategies that had worked so well in the past.   Upon applying just a couple of the skills outlined in this book, most notably ‘neutralize arguing’, I was able to remove the emotion and speak to my child with love, thereby allowing them to learn natural consequences of their behavior. Here are a couple of examples of how I implemented Love & Logic recently:

Scenario #1 – Experimenting with Chocolate

I wake to discover the little man was experimenting with cooking something or another.  There were drops of chocolate all over the kitchen floor from the microwave to the sink, a plastic bowl in sink with burnt chocolate encrusted around the rim and a gaping hole in the bottom, a puddle of chocolate and butter hardened on the bottom of the microwave, and Wilton chocolate candy melt bags strewn across the counter.

When the little man awoke, I greeted him warmly as usual. I asked if he slept well to which replied that he had. I asked if he stayed up late and did any experimenting in the kitchen. He gave me a wry grin. “How did it go?” I inquired.

“Not so good. I tried to make a chocolate bar but I didn’t use the right stuff.”

“Hmmm,” I responded. “What happened?”

“It got too hot and the bowl melted.”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“It dripped on the floor.”

“Oh! Did you clean it up?”

“No. I didn’t know how.”

“Well, you can hire me to do it for you. I am very experienced at cleaning up messes. I thereby charge for my expertise. You can pay me $2 to clean it up for you or you can clean it up yourself.”

“What?! I don’t want to pay you. $2 is too much,” he retorts as a frown shows on his face.

“I understand. You have a choice, Sweetheart,” I explain. “You can do it yourself or you can pay someone else. Maybe your sister will charge less?”

“I don’t know how to do it.”

“I suppose you could probably do some research or even ask someone with experience for suggestions.”

“Okay. Mom, how do I clean it up?”

Scenario #2 – Sibling Arguments

Kids were arguing one morning and the tensions were rising. I went into the room and calmly stated, “I’m going to charge you both $2 per minute to listen to you argue. I’m starting my stopwatch now.” I then walked away.

They each came to me and complained how the other had offended them. I repeated, “I charge $2 per minute to listen to you argue and to mediate.” The arguments stopped almost immediately.

A short time later, they could be heard helping one another rehearse and memorize their script for the living history event the following day.

Love … Love & Logic!

I have recently enjoyed an on-demand webinar entitled, Success with Strong-Willed, Stubborn or Downright Defiant Kids.  This nearly four hour webinar provides a fantastic overview of proven strategies and skills for working with kids – particularly the middle and high school level child who has honed his own strategies for getting us to focus on things we can’t control.

Through the webinar, Charles Fay reviews the basics of the Love and Logic philosophy and then presents examples of and solutions to problems that we encounter so frequently as parents and teacher. Removing the threats and constant badgering and just letting him logically work out the consequences has had a much greater and faster impact than I could have imagined.

 

While I purchased the two books myself and have been using Love and Logic for years, access to the webinar was provided to me in exchange for my unbiased review.