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Money, Chores, and Children

August 21, 2008

So I’m considering two things.

First, ‘allowance’

I would like to start an allowance type thing starting the 1st of the October. There was a really really good post here about it.

I’m figuring I’m going to do 2 dollars per year a month (that’d be 28 dollars a month for Morgan and 18 a month for Ian) It’ll teach them saving, spending, etc. I’m going to go ahead and get Morgan a bank account online (probably have her dad set it up for her and have him be the executor, since he’s more likely to put a ton of money in it than I)

The other thing. I’m not really big on paying my kids for chores. They have things they are expected to do around the house simply because we are a family, we all live here, and we all contribute to the mess and we all contribute to the peace and serenity that the house can be when we keep it picked up regularly.

So all that said. *I* think that the chores my kids have right now are fairly easy chores. Morgan and the boys have some friends that do WAY more work than they do, and they have some friends that don’t do a darn thing (and Morgan says those are the friends that get bad grades, are fairly irresponsible, and selfish to boot, I see what she’s talking about when she points out their names)

I also remember working in fast food (crew trainer at McD’s) back when Ian and Owyn were babies I got SO sick of teens coming in and not even knowing how to wipe counters down, sweep or mop. Let alone clean bathrooms or wash their hands regularly. When I’ve got to train a 17 yo how to wipe a counter, that’s just  wrong ok? What’s wrong with their parents?

Morgan vacuums when I ask her too (usually a couple of times a week)
She does the dishes every night, along with that, she’s supposed to do ALL of the dishes, the ones that don’t fit in the dishwasher, are supposed to get hand washed and put in the drainer, she’s supposed to wash the counters and stove. Put away dinner food and take out the garbage. Also she’s supposed to wash Kaia’s high chair tray (I wash it about 3-4 times a day before that)
Oh and she does her own laundry, when she runs out, like maybe 2 times a month. (It’s supposed to be every weekend)
Of all of these, she does the dishes. Most of them.
‘Forgetting’ to look around the house for dishes, ‘forgetting’ to wash stuff that is clearly visible and by the sink, ‘forgets’ to wash a couple of the counters, ‘forgets’ to wash Kaia’s high chair tray, ‘forgets’ to put the food away a lot of the time (3 times just last week, ruining a lot of food, the dogs knocked the stove over to get to the chicken on top of the stove and broke pieces off of the stove) She whines badly when I ask her to vacuum (which I expect, she’s a young teenager) and doesn’t always do it when asked.

The boys take out all of the houses dirty clothes about every other day, putting them in the appropriate dirty clothes separators. They take out the bathroom trashes, they help pick up the living room a couple of times a day (for me to vacuum and just because the mess gets on my nerves). They put dishes away every night (sometimes nicely, sometimes badly) They do some yardwork, help me keep an eye on Kaia while *I’m* cleaning or gardening, they clean their room a couple of times a week, they pick up yard trash that blows into our yard, and pick up sticks and stuff so Gary or I can mow the lawn. They also change out the litter box a couple of times a week and they are in charge of feeding and watering the animals (2 very large dogs and a cat) twice a day. We make our own dog food, plus the dogs need to be separated to eat so it’s a bit more involved than the normal dog feeding…
Ian whines a LOT, Owyn helps gladly 99% of the time.

I honestly feel that the boys are doing more work weekly than Morgan.

I’d also like to come up with some sort of regular schedule, check off list etc for Morgan and the boys.

What is your guy’s opinions on kids and chores? (since you already read my soapbox on that stuff) What about kids and allowances?
If you have kids, what are some of the jobs that they do around the house if any?

My other thought on this, brought to my attention a couple of days ago by a homeschooling friend of mine in OK is what kind of skills am I teaching my children as they grow to adult hood? Witness those poor teens when I worked at McD’s! What kind of skills did their parents give them? Little to none I bet. I believe mine are ahead of the other kids their age for two simple reasons. They know how to get along with people of all ages, rather than just people of their age groups. Their social skills amaze me sometimes (then there’s the times Owyn spots someone not quite ‘normal’ in his world at the store and is quite vocal about it LOL), then there is the chores. Ian can cook quite a few things, pancakes, asian soups, mac n cheese, muffins, cookies, grilled sandwiches, baked potatoes, and lots of other things. My brother had to be taught to cook after he moved out. I had to teach my ex-husband how to cook when we got married (he took to it like a fish to water honestly, he’s a credit to me LOL)

The kids and I regularly grocery shop together and we make up monthly menu’s with a budget, we comparison shop at the stores, we got to different stores for different things and talk about why. We comparison price at our local stores for Gluten-free stuff versus ordering online (even with shipping, it’s often cheaper to buy packaged stuff online) but we’ve found it’s cheaper to buy our flours from the local Asian food store. Yep. WE figured it out. Not ME.

So yeah, they are learning life skills with their chores and their homeschooling. They are learning to do laundry, cook and clean. They are learning how to do outside chores. I’m teaching them budgeting and leading by example in what we NEED versus what we WANT. And that hard work to get what you REALLY want is needed a lot of the time. That taking care of the things you have properly is nesessary if you want to have nice things when you don’t have a disposible income. But my discussion with Kit (homeschooling friend) really got me thinking about what I AM teaching them.  Is it enough? Do I go to far? Did I go far enough? Morgan needs to learn how to use tools, how to balance a checkbook and properly use a bank account. How to pay bills, shop for insurance, how to care for a vehicle. And so do the boys.. So I’ve thought of things I haven’t taught them. Yet. *grin*

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 21, 2008 9:29 am

    I think kids should have some chores. I didn’t really have any growing up and I was clueless upon moving out. But my best friend pretty much cleaned her whole entire house for her family and I just thought it was pretty messed up.

    I like the idea of light chores. Picking up, loading the dishwasher, vaccuming etc.

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