Tip Tuesday — Put them To Work

How do you get your kids to work FOR you, not against you? Last night we gave Laylee her first allowance so we could teach her about saving money and paying tithing. She was pretty much stoked that 5 of the shiny monies (dimes) went into her pink pig’s belly.

I’m not sure if she understands the tithing thing but she did keep saying that her savings box was for college. We gave her several options for the use of her 40 large, but she insisted that her savings were for college. Nice. At this rate, she will have her bachelor’s in approximately… never.

When I explained what allowance was, I told her that she would also be expected to do more “responsibilities” around the house. She was very excited about this plan. Responsibilities = big-girlness. Big-girlness = eating as many peeps as you can fit in your mouth because you’re tall enough to reach the cupboard of coma-inducing refined sugar products.

Currently she helps me set the table, clear her place, “make the bed” (cackle), and “dust.” Not bad for a three year old, but I still don’t think she’s earning her keep.

When we were young, my mom made chores fun by having us “play vacuum cleaner” (Dealers were exempt.). Yes, she trained us all to be dealers. We also tried various chore charts. These were more fun when we were younger and not as able – To Deal. (Isn’t that the name of a Mandy Moore flick?)

Some were not so much fun, such as the “15 minute blitz.” This involved my mom running around like crazy, talking really fast and peppily urging us on like a cheerleader as we tried to make it look like our limbs were moving quickly to clean the house, while making sure that we were cleaning less than our siblings. I HATED the 15 minute blitz with all of my soul. I am SO using it on my kids. I will also be singing the “Good Morning To You” song as I flip on their light and sing tales of orange juice and “get out of bed you lazy bum.” They will LOVE it.

How do you get your sweet little freeloaders to start earning* their 25 cents per week, not to mention all the food and toilet paper they consume? (Yes, I do mean eating toilet paper. Another day, another story about my kids finding ways to be absolutely disgusting at lightning speed. If I’d just been two seconds faster, I could have stopped it. Two seconds slower and I wouldn’t have had to witness it. But hey, I dip my Oreos. I guess TP ain’t the only thing that tastes better when wet.)

*I don’t think chores should be directly linked to allowance. I’d love your opinions on that issue too.

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