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Friday, March 08, 2013

Teaching Kids: Work Pays

We don't give our kids an allowance, because

A.) They already have everything they need, plus extra.
  • What would the kids spend OUR money on?  Candy, tiny forgettable toys, and arcade games. Since it's not really THEIR money, it's easily taken for granted and thrown away.
B.)  They don't earn it.
  • An allowance just slaps a couple of bills in little, entitled hands without teaching kids what a gift it is.  Someone had to work for it.  It doesn't just drop out of the sky. Even if they did a chore or two that week, it usually isn't even.  Someone always did more work than someone else.  It's hard to grasp how much the work/money is truly worth.
C.)  They aren't very responsible.
  • I find quarters everywhere.  Kids lose things, forget things, misplace things.  Giving our kids money with no strings attached is like tossing it out of a window. They need to feel a sense of ownership for money to hold value to them.
So per, Dave Ramsey, we have always set up commission-based opportunities.  This is an easy real-life lesson to teach even the little ones! You don't work, you don't get paid!

Our kids have understood this for a while now, but as parents, we're not always consistent in implementing a system.  So after a couple of weeks of my oldest daughter whining about not having any money, I finally got around to starting fresh.  Believe it or not, I got this idea from a random viewing of Wife Swap (must have been an exciting night on T.V. ha!):

 
Our Job Board: Proverbs 14:23 (pardon the duct tape.)
 Our Job Board uses craft sticks with various jobs to choose from.  Every time one of our children completes a task, they can put the appropriate stick into their cup.  This allows Mom and Dad some time to check the validity of their statement without having to remember every time someone shouted, "Daaaad!  I cleaned my room!  Can I have a dollar?" Then the parents can add up the commission allotted to each job performed.  

Here are some of the job opportunities our family delegates to the kiddos:
Each job has a specified payment amount you can earn.
  • Fold 1 load of laundry
  • Take dirty clothes to laundry room
  • Wash 1 load of laundry
  • Straighten closet
  • Empty 1 trash can
  • Sweep 1 floor area
  • Pack school lunch
  • Put clean clothes away
  • Clean out van
  • Donate 1 box of toys
  • Straighten 1 shelf/desk area
  • Unload dishwasher
  • Set the dinner table
***Breaking down bigger jobs in smaller, do-able tasks, helps the little people feel accomplishment for each job finished, instead of overwhelming them with giant chores*** (this is true for Mommy too!).  We assign payments to $.25-$1.00 for task, according the size of the job.  It all adds up!  The more work they do, the more money they earn!
By setting up a commission based chore system at home, not only do our kids learn an important life lesson, but the parents get a little help too!  And our children learn to grow up into self-sufficient adults.  It's a WIN-WIN-WIN.

Now, if only my kids could keep their hard-earned money in one place...

 Do you have a system like this at your home?  What does it look like?  What other jobs do your kids help out with? SHARE!
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