Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sharing the Work

We've brought back the chore chart.  Oh yeah, the chore chart.  It's been too long in coming.

Chore charts are tricky.  How do you know how to give money?  Some people just pay their kids a set amount, regardless of what they do or don't do. Others have their children work for the money, and they get paid when they do the chore.  We used to do a little of both.  The kids would get a set amount per week, but then they could add to it by doing chores.  Worked ok for a while, but then we started hearing "Ah, I don't have to do that.  I'll still get my (insert coinage here) anyway"

So that wasn't making a point, obviously.  After a while, the whole system just fell apart.  No one did anything, or I forgot to pay them, and they'd ask how much they had in their allowance, and I'd just make up a number.  They'd forget, I'd forget, and that was that.

Not anymore.  We're trying again.  It's been a while, but I think they're old enough to handle more responsibility in doing chores, and I'm trying to make myself more organized to set up a system and see it through.  I also wanted them to see money really coming in and being saved and to think about what it really costs to have it go out.  To that end, we've set up a bank: HBoM.  Household Bank of Mommy.  I went and closed their bank accounts from their real bank (which was too far away) and deposited their funds in HBoM.  They know how much they have, and so do I.  They can touch the money, look at it, and add more or take it away.  The only deal is that they have to leave 1/2 in there at all times.  But the other 1/2 is there's to do what they will.  There are deposit slips and withdrawal slips and they have account numbers.  The only difference is that this bank will not take a whole load of pennies just because they feel like depositing a whole load of pennies (yes, I've already been asked), and this bank will not let them withdraw money without a reason...and buying gum or breakable garbage toys are not a reason. 

So they have money.  Easy enough to take away, but how do they add?  Chore charts.  They have chores they can do, each has a value assigned to it, and the more they do, the more they can earn.  We have set "pay days", so I don't forget to give them their money.  When they get it, they can do what they like with it.  But they have to deposit some into the bank.  Just some.  The rest is theirs to keep. 

To decide on chores, we let the kids pick their own.  This is what Lorelei came up with:

She may have been a bit ambitious.  Cleaning the bathroom?  Really?  That would be something.  I could cross it off MY chore chart.

Reid had less to say:
Probably more doable, no?

We took their ideas and added some of our own, came up with prices and went with it.  We'll see how it goes.  I have hopes, though.  As long as we all stick with it, it can work. Wish us luck, and I'll let you know how it goes!

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