Sunday, August 23, 2009


We had big hopes for this weekend. It is the last weekend before school starts, so we know life around here is about to get busy. Mostly everyone is excited about school starting, but there's a little trepidation in the mix, too. The boys have had a rough week or so; their nerves about a new school year coming out in bad behaviors.

Z and I wanted to do something fun with the boys this last weekend before school starts. We wanted to treat the boys with a fun new activity and help us all blow off a little steam. So yesterday we ran a couple errands and set off to play a crazy-expensive game of mini-golf. The mini-golf course is in our mall, and its a black-light course, which the boys thought was really fun. They had a great time (as did Z and I) and then we headed off to dinner at a yummy Italian restaurant.

The day was meant to be fun. It was meant to be a treat. But on the way home, we heard a chorus of complaints from the back seat. Something wasn't fun enough. Someone was upset that he didn't get to ride his bike today. Blah, blah, blah.

I have to be honest and say that I was disappointed. We had just spent a large amount of money on a treat for all of us (something we don't do all that often)...and the boys (one in particular) simply didn't appreciate it. Ugh.

This has become an increasing problem over the past few months, but yesterday made me realize that Z and I aren't doing a good job of helping the boys understand the value of money, the value of family time, and being grateful for what we have. We've decided the boys need to start earning their own money through chores and allowance and that they have to start paying their own way for some of the fun things they want to do. Perhaps they might appreciate what they have a little more if they have to earn it.

So, I need some help. What are some chores that you have your kids do?

What's the "standard" allowance these days?

What things do you do with your family to help your kids learn these lessons?

Our boys are 5 and 7 years old.


Robin Dodd Photography said...

Hey girl.. I am all over this.. We've had some complaining over the past few months and I feel like we're always teaching a life lesson about the value of money LOL.. our girls get 3.00 a week and they each have a job, ongoing... Grace's is to take the upstairs trash cans downstairs when they get full.. Mariama sweeps the house, two rooms upstairs and 3 down every few days. (we have hardwoods) and once a week they'll sort the laundry and load it, and I fold and they put theirs up. Of course I do laundry more than that, but it helps keep them accountable if they do it once a week instead of just throwing everything in the dirty clothes.. whether it's dirty or not.. they also have to keep the their room straightened and sometimes the girls will wash the dishes.. we don't have a dishwasher..

We had a situation the other day.. The girls have a little art room in the basement and they are supposed to wear old t shirts, that they keep down there. Mariama's always been really good about changing out of her good clothes.. well the other day M wore a really nice dress and was down there painting and got paint all over it and ruined it. Since I know she's a BIG saver of money, and will walk the dollar store aisles for 30 minutes deciding what she wants to get.. I asked her to bring her money down and pay me $8.00 for the dress.. and talked to her about responsibility etc, etc.. it really sunk in.

Grace's thing is mainly food.. not eating healthy food when I serve it.. salads, green veggies..( or basically taking 45 minutes to eat a piece of asparagus... Grace being a mexican food fanatic, I took the privledge away from her for a few months. Mariama and Holly had taco bell burritos for dinner one night and she and I had tomato soup and toast. This really stuck with her and she's not playing the control game with food anymore. I think mainly it's just follow thru... it's so hard, but works!
Sorry to go on and on!!

Amy said...

We pay considerably less- $1 a week, but we know we are on the LOW end. :) Yaw (age 6) is responsible for keeping his room clean with his brother. He sets the table, clears his plate and puts it in the dishwasher. He folds his own clothes (not a great job of it, but he does his best) and puts them away. He and his brother also are responsible for picking up the toys on the downstair level and returning them to the playroom.

We also subscribe to the stink attitude= stinky job way of doing things. The jobs range from rearranging the shoe closet (very easy for little boys) to weeding to scrubbing the floor on hands and knees. They can also scrub the cabinets in the kitchen and so on...

We expect our kids to comply with a positive attitude too- that stinky response might just get a stinky job! ;) Honestly, I haven't assigned a stinky job in about a week and with 5 kids, that is pretty good!

Good luck with it- Robin is right about the follow through! Consistency is what makes it possible to not be assigning a stinky job every time we turn around. They gotta know that every time they will get the same reaction and then they are not likely to keep repeating it to get an icky outcome. ;)

That's my 2 cents. I've been throwing it out there like there is no tomorrow lately haven't I? ;)


Grace said...

Sorry, I don't have any ideas for you, but this sounds exactly like our house! It seems that the more stuff the kids have, the more complaining there is--clothes, food, toys, outings... Sometimes, maybe we just need to limit the choices. We had been debating about what to do with Gloria's birthday too, which is coming up soon, and decided to make it VERY simple. We realized that she probably isn't ready to appreciate big things yet anyway! We'll see how that goes...

Anonymous said...

We had 3 girls, so we split the chores into 3 sections, and they rotated each week. They also had to make their beds and pick up their clothes daily (or at least they were supposed to :)). Some of the chores they did (some were added as they got older) were feed the dog and keep his water bowl full; set the table; wipe the table; help with the dishes; fold and put away clothes; empty trashes; sweep the floor; vacuuum the carpet; dust. For allowance, I can't remember exactly, but maybe we started at $1.00/week when you were five, then with every birthday we added .25 or .50. We strongly encouraged them to give some to church; to save some; and the rest was theirs to spend. It's a great lesson if everyone in the family shares chores--because if everyone helps with the work, then we can play all that much sooner. Good luck!