Monday, January 11, 2010

Chore Charts: Re-entry to Reality

Yes! We are back from our week at Disney World. It really was so nice to leave all business and domestic responsibilities on the jet bridge at the airport and spend the week focusing on having fun and enjoying all there is to see and do at Disney! I really didn't even worry about budgets or bills since almost everything was paid for ahead of time, and the money we needed for everything else was either in our pockets or sitting in savings awaiting the credit card bill.

But it's back to the real world. Not so hard for me today--the years have taught me that the more I get done on Sunday leads to a better, more peaceful work week. And yes, I just folded the 7th load of laundry. UGH!

But reality has been harder for my kids. First, they were(still are) ultra exhausted. Park hopping, pin trading, and character meeting for 5 straight days wears their little bodies out. Add on the fact that both had been out of their regular routines for two weeks prior due to school holiday closings, one of those weeks with grandparents visiting to dote on their every whim 24/7. And no sooner had the Santa deliveries gotten the slightest bit boring they are whisked off to Florida for a week of Mickey, Minnie, et al. Vacations and holidays are wonderful, but overall I've found my kids really do better with more structure and responsibility....then again, don't we all?

So today...I resurrected the Chore Charts.

We used these last year, but had slackened up the past couple of months. It really does take ALOT of my time to make sure they are staying on task, but I know it's important for development of their work ethic, esteem as a integral part of the family, and for financial lessons.

I follow the Dave Ramsey principle that kids earn commission not allowances. Work, get paid. Don't work, don't get paid! I also subscribe to the general rule that allowance should be $1 for each year of age. My 4 yr. old son has the opportunity to earn $4.15 per week (9 daily chores at 5¢ each for 7 days PLUS 4 weekly chores at 25¢ each). My 8 yr. old daughter can earn $8.00 per week (10 daily chores at 10¢ each PLUS 4 weekly chores at 25¢ each) although I probably should add another weekly chore since she recently exhibited the ability to push the Dyson around. :)

As you can see, the little guy is my worker. My overtired drama queen almost needed a cattle prod to finish up her homework today. Notwithstanding all that wasted time complaining and crying about homework, a mom-induced 2-hour nap this afternoon left her with not much time to do the rest of her chores this evening.

Oh well! She may or may not learn her lesson when she wants money for something I'm not willing to pay for and it isn't there in her piggy bank.

How do you handle chores and allowances for young children?

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