Having three kids also means that you, the parental unit, are constantly trying to teach your kids RESPONSIBILITY. This is a life lesson that is continuous, never ending, and from a teachers perspective, sucks to teach. Because let's face it folks, kids in general would rather learn about cool shit like how storms are formed, how ice turns to water and back again, how Darth Vader could really be Luke Skywalkers father and did he pay child support. They don't want to learn that money does not grow on a tree, therefore they cannot get whatever fancy toy floats by their dilated pupils. I have even thought of planting a dead tree outside with pennies glued to the branches, just to prove this point.
However, I came across a cool idea that I decided to try and implement with my kids starting this week. It involved magnets, chores, and money. I called it Magnetic Chores.
After hitting the local craft store and purchasing magnets and little wooden circles, I sat down and brainstormed all of the different random chores around the house that are not already a part of the kids "family duties". I thought of chores that could be done throughout the week, chores that the two older boys could do. And then, J and I picked a monetary value for each chore completion.
Once finalized, I wrote up each chore and corresponding monetary value on a wooden circle, then stuck a magnet on the back. Then, I popped them onto the fridge.
|My Magnetic Chores|
Knowing my kids, and how they will misinterpret any direction given unless written out and copied in triplicate, I sat down to write out very detailed instructions on the following:
- What is expected to complete each chore
- When the chores are available
- What happens if a chore is not completed
- What happens if the kids suck up something into the vacuum and break my precious Dyson
The pages were stapled together, put in a folder, and into a drawer near the fridge so that the kids can read what is expected for the chore they decide to choose.
The way I figure, the kids are constantly asking for new things, and each weekend we hear whining on how they want a raise on their allowance. Our household rule is half their age in monetary pin money per week. But, it's like herding wet cats to get them to help around the house unless there is something in it for them. Now, they have family duties that are expected no matter what and they don't count for money. Things like cleaning their rooms, bringing down their dirty laundry, cleaning off the table both before and after meals, picking up the living room. But the chores I chose to offer are choice only with incentives to choose. My choice of chore and monetary value may differ from yours. I live on a three story town house where the laundry room is on floor one, and our bedrooms are on floor three. I'll happily pay a little extra cash than the average mom if the boys are willing to lug the clothes all the way upstairs for me. Or why I offer $2 to vacuum or sweep the stairs. It's a pain in the ass to do two sets of stairs.
So here is what I offered, with the understanding that homework and family duties need to be completed before these are available:
- Dishes $1
- Clean kitchen counters $.75
- Wipe kitchen appliances $.25
- Wipe windows $1
- Dust middle floor $.50
- Bring up laundry $.50
- Sort laundry $2
- Vacuum upper floor $.75
- Vacuum middle floor $.50
- Sweep lower floor $.50
- Vacuum stairs $2
- Middle bathroom $.50
- Kids bathroom $1
- Parents bathroom $1
- Office bathroom $1
I also added two "Wild Card" additions, to be used by parental units discretion only. They can be used for any random chore that may need to be done at that point in time.
In total, including the addition of tub cleaning, it is conceivable that the kids can earn more than an extra $15 per week on top of their regular allowance.
When the boys arrived home from school they immediately noticed the magnets and the mason jars on display as their piggy banks. After going through all of the rules, the boys excitedly started making plans on who would get which chore. Ashe has already earned a quarter and my kitchen appliances look awesome. Soren even earned a nickel through the Wild Card system, by bringing down a box of Bounce to the Laundry Room.
Yeah, I think this is going to work out just fine.