Posts Tagged ‘chores’

No, I did not say that!


Mommy, I’m going to make you a chart for all the chores that you do. You’ll get a sticker each time you do a chore. Yours is going to be really big because you do A LOT!”

– Carson, age 5

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Lilah (18 months) with my husband learning how to water our garden

My mom was recently looking through some old boxes when she came across one of my old chores schedules (see below). It reminded me of something that I need to start thinking about for my daughter. Chores!

I come from generations of entrepreneurs and my parents have owned their own business since I was 5 years old. Naturally, they were compelled to teach me about good work ethics and the value of money. Starting at a young age, I had chores and received a small allowance, but when I was about 10 years old they felt it was time to really learn about money.   

We had a large house filled with tons of plants and a huge yard with even more plants (no sprinkler system). My parents decided that they would pay me well for doing chores because “if you don’t do it, we’ll have to pay someone else to do it.” At that age, they also gave me the responsibility of buying all of my own clothes and paying for any extra activities. I was not allowed to ask for money for the movies or that pair of jeans “I just had to have.” They also would not provide me with candy, sweet cereal, or anything they deemed out of the ordinary for groceries, however I could buy those items for myself if I chose to do so. It was up to me to manage my money. They helped me start a savings account and encouraged me to use it.

Many people believe that kids should not be paid for chores because it’s just something they should do. However, if they are too young to get a job and earn money then they will come to you for money for everything little thing they want to do or want you to buy. It’s up to you to say yes or no and get hounded until you give in just to make them stop. At least with an allowance and a chores schedule that my parents set up, they knew how much they were paying out every week and I knew I could not ask for more. It was clear about what was expected of me. My chores had to be done on time, if they were not done on time I was docked money. As I grew older, I took on more responsibilities and received incremental increases (much like in a job). I can’t say I’ve been perfect with my money, but having responsibilities over my own money at a young age helped me understand that money does not grow on trees. Every parent has a different philosophy about this topic, but you have to do what works for you. Good luck!

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Yes, it’s THAT time of year again…time to clean out the accumulated ‘junk’ that has made its way into our life during the winter and have a fresh start for spring.  It can be a daunting task as you survey closets, garages, and storage spaces that cry out to be purged and deep cleaned – especially when all you want to do is play with your kids!  Why not include them in this spring rite?  Make them part of the process – spend some quality time, AND get things accomplished!  No, they can’t do everything – but you can put together a simple list for them to undertake while the adults deal with the big stuff – you can get through the necessary chores a little quicker and even make it fun.  For families with more than one child it can become a spirited competition to see who finishes the fastest or gives away the most. In my household it always seems that when the whole family helps clean, the house stays sparkling longer and there is a tendency to know where things are instead of mom having to ‘find’ everything. Here are some ideas for little one to tackle.

Kids to Do List:

Go through toys and books, separating what is no longer used to give to charity.

Strip or make the beds.

Clean the sink (I remember being assigned this task by my grandmother when I was a child) – there is satisfaction when the fixtures shine.

Dump the small trash cans (or at least place them near the larger one.)

Go through the house and find anything that belongs to you and return it in your room.

Dust the floor/furniture/window sills.

Play some fun music and the time will fly. Praise children for doing a great job and stress how helpful they are (even if they can’t do it as well as you.)  At the end of the project reward yourselves with a fun experience – a movie night with popcorn and ice cream or some time at a park. Happy clean-up!

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The “le•top Family” has been working on reducing our ‘carbon footprint’ – and we know that it all starts at home.  Robyn, Assistant Credit Manager and mom, decided to combine 2 lessons into one – responsibility for our environment and financial independence!

Kira Showing her Recycling Earnings

Kira showing off her recycling earnings

Robyn decided that her 9 year old daughter Kira (a model since she was 6 months old!) was ready for a little more responsibility.  According to Robyn, “Recycling is an important factor in helping the environment therefore it has become part of my family’s daily routine. Things we use everyday can be recycled and it doesn’t even take much! Kira has been practicing the 3-R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! My family and I have always used the recycling bin given by the city but never thought of turning some of the material in for cash. My husband and I made a deal with Kira; if she is responsible enough to take care of all the recycling, including rinsing out cans, jars, and bottles and placing them into the appropriate bins, then we will take her to the local recycling center to turn it in for cash. It’s a fun activity for her because not only is she saving the planet, she also gets to keep the cash all to herself. She’s making a difference and having fun at the same time!”

I thought this was an awesome way to motivate – and great for the environment!  When my daughter Lilah is a bit older we will definitely utilize this idea.  I have to admit…I do not love rinsing out everything – so why not give her a chance to earn some pocket money!  By the way…would this count as an ‘allowance?’  Do parents still pay ‘allowances’ – or am I dating myself?

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