I have had an ahh haa moment this week. And oh how great it is! We have always given our kids chores and responsibilities, but never really followed up on one specific thing. We would say "get your rooms done before dinner" or "son it's your night to take out the trash" or "Princess (which we really don't call her unless we're pretending to bow down to her all knowing self) please clean the table off for dinner". The majority of the actual "chores" falls on me. The laundry, cleaning bathrooms, kitchen, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping etc. etc. You know the list.
Well, with baseball season starting up again the excitement of the concession stand is ahead of us. I already have them asking before we leave for practice if it will be open. We can pack as many snacks and drinks and junk as possible, but it never fails the concession stand is so much more exciting. And I'm tired of being asking a million times in every store "can I have...". The ice cream truck visits almost everynight and it's a battle everytime they hear the music. Truly we'd be broke if we handed them money everytime they ask
So what does all of this have to do with anything you ask? We, well mostly me, decided to start giving an allowance. I have created a page for every room and chore. In the pantry is a master copy of show does what on what days. We had a family meeting this week to discuss what this means. In order to earn your allowance the chores must be done before 5:00 each day, I will not remind you, and their is no negotiating..plain and simple.
This week went awesome! We've settled on $5 a week for the three oldest and our four year old will get $3 since the big kids and mom and dad help him. We have also had a few times lately where it has been necessary to have our oldest keep our youngest. I've had meetings at the school while daddy has been coaching. She is super excited about this responsibility and the fact that I've been slipping her a few extra bucks here and there. We also told them if they wanted all of the extra's (from the above list) it would come from their allowance.
I feel I have defintely gotten the deal out of this because they worked super hard keeping each other on track and checking to make sure they all did a good job. I have gone to bed at night with the laundry put away, bathrooms cleaned, and I'm not tripping over their toys...and I'm not the one doing it all for a change. I even had our 9 year old sone teaching our 7 year old son how to clean the toilet (which wasn't even part of the plan), and they were havign so much fun scrubbing with the long brush that they even did mom and dad's toilet. Are you kidding me? Fun cleaning toilets! I knwo the excitement will wear off as with anything new we introduece, but if they want money they'll do it. This is also saving me money and havign to say no. I won't be shoveling out all my ones and change at the concession stand or ice cream man (which by the way costs us at least $10-$15 everytime we purchase either from the ice cream man or concession stand. And when you you have 3-4 games a week this adds up quick.
The two oldest boys even got up a few minutes early this week to help make breakfast and pack their lunches. I have two kitchen helpers everyday, but they have taken it an extra step and even helped in the morning and when it wasn't even their day.
I am so excited and can't wait for little monkey to clean up after himself. Then I've got it made.