Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WFMW - What Works for You?

This week for WFMW, we are supposed to put a question out there for all the bloggers to answer. I have a great one!

We are mulling over allowances and chores for our 4 year old (when we get this one trained, we will start on the 2 year old). So, I want to know:
~do you give allowance?
~if so, how much?
~do your kids have regular assigned chores?
~if so, how old are they, and what are their chores?
~if you give allowance and chores, are they tied together (are they paid or penalized for their chores)?

~what do you consider age-appropriate chores for a 4 year old (almost 5)
~what do you consider an appropriate allowance for the same age?

Head over to Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT family for more problems to solve!


Wanda said...

I have 3...now all teens. But when they were little....we did different things. Sometimes we paid them....other times we rewarded them with something special. Some ideas:

We used a reward jar and filled it with fun ideas...like--dinner @ McDonald's. Pick a movie for movie night. Private bubble bath (this was a fun one because there were always other's in the tub).
Date with mom or dad (again private). Bake cookies together.

You get the idea. They would get so excited to do things just to be the one honored from the reward jar.

The Momma Bird said...

I did a post about my boys' chores a while back. Here's the link: http://ourownlittlenest.blogspot.com/2009/02/doing-chores-is-such-chore.html

They're 6 and almost 5, so maybe you can use some of those ideas?

I use a printed chore chart that they mark off, and I also use www.childzilla.com to keep track of their chores/points. You can add prizes (I let them pick somethign they want to save up for and put it on their chore page as incentive). I estimate how much time a chore takes and give points according to the time involved. For example, if it takes 15 minutes to wash dishes, they get 15 points. At the end of the week, we add up all the points, and they get 3 cents per point (1 cent goes to God, 1 cent to savings, 1 cent for spending). We do it that way because then their points directly correlate to their spending money. This probably sounds so confusing!!

Anyway, my kids have "money banks" that you can find here: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=502702&netp_id=214014&event=ESRCN&item_code=WW&view=covers

I hope that helps you out! It's a lot of work to get the whole system figured out and teach them the chores day after day until they get the hang of them, but it's SO worth it!

Tracey said...

Our girls are eight and six. They receive an allowance for the chores they do on Saturday mornings; they each have things they are assigned to do and these are the same from week to week(from emptying trash to dusting to wiping down the bathroom sink).

They also have daily chores that they do but are not "paid" for - making their beds, emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry. In order to receive their "allowance" on Saturday, they need to do their chores as well as they can and in a timely manner. If they don't (which hardly ever happens), they have to re-do or finish them but don't get their money.

We only do $1/week; they get two quarters to spend, one to save and one to give. That's what's working for us so far (until they hear their friends get $5 a week, anyway!!)

Milehimama said...

My older kids get allowances. They do have chores. They aren't really PAID for their chores, but if they don't do them (or get in trouble) they lose $.

Also, SPENDING money is a privilege and they can't spend it if they are gounded, etc.

In order to actually get paid, their rooms have to get clean (more or less...)

We recently increased things - the 8,9, and 10 yo get $5 (I think it's too much, husband thinks it's not enough.) The 6 yo gets $3.50. (50 cents a day, he needs a little bit more instant gratification.)

The older kids rotate chores. They each have a "house chore" - pick up LR, pick up Playroom, pick up Schoolroom. A kitchen chore - sweep, unload dishwasher, wipe the table, dinner helper (peel potatoes, open cans, whatever.). A "misc." chore (keep bathroom floor clear of clutter, pick up toys and trash in backyard, take hampers to laundry room, etc.) and a trash chore (the older two boys rotate taking trash from the can to the garage/taking trash from garage to curb on trash day) and the 8 yo girl is in charge of dumping the bathroom trashes before trash day.

My 5 and 6 yo have "permanent" chores. 5 yo is in charge of clearing the table everynight (I do the serving dishes), helping in the playroom, and clearing off the stairs (we have very cluttery tendencies here!). The 6 yo is lunch helper, empty compost bucket in compost pile, clean up hallway (dirty laundry/toys) and put shoes away.

I have paid them for extra work - like when we had to take EVERYTHING out of the kitchen for the exterminator and then put EVERYTHING back (down to the shelf paper!) They didn't *know* they were getting paid, but I paid them for hard work and good attitude as an extra "bonus". Some parents would have taken their kids out to McDonald's or for ice cream, but we can't do that due to dietary restrictions.

I have a pocket chart I picked up from an office store and the chores are on index cards, so I can move the cards around as the chores rotate. (My 4 yo got sneaky and threw her cards away... but she still has to do the chores, LOL!)

Wow, that sounded really complicated, but it's not! In a nutshell, kids do their chores, which rotate. They lose $ if they are in bad trouble/refuse to do chores. They only get paid if room is clean (well, cleaner than usual, anyway.) If they lose too much $ they don't get paid that week at all.

Milehimama said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to add, I put limits on HOW they can spend the $.

They can only buy one food item a week (no spending all $5 on candy bars) and I have to approve it (they can buy a can of Pringles, but not a jumbo bag of Oreos, for example); they can buy a candy bar but not a BAG of candy bars.

They are expected to use their allowance to put in the offering basket at church (we set a minimum - 50 cents) and they are expected to give a gift to immediate family members on birthdays (they can buy something from the $ store, or make something like a picture, it doesn't have to be store bought but if it is, it comes from their allowance.)

This week, the baby turns 2. The 6 yo (gets $3.50 a week) bought him a jar of bubbles (40 cents), the 8 yo ($5 a week) bought him a Matchbox car ($1), and the 10 yo plans to watch and help him run in the sprinklers outside.

With my older boys (9 and 10) we've started making them pay for damages, too. If something is destroyed and it's entirely their fault...if they leave their library book outside and it gets rained on, they have to pay for it, for example. (If they ran over a nail and needed a new inner tube - that wasn't irresponsible, it was just an accident, so we'd pay for it.)

My littles really do better SEEING their money every day (a quarter a day or whatever) go into their bank or jar. They are very concrete thinkers at that age!

Gretchen said...

I posted my cleaning schedule on my blog (http://extraordinaryordinarylife.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/cleaning-schedule-and-an-easter-dress/) and I listed what my almost 4 year old son does. Those are his weekly chores. He has daily chores like, make bed, get dressed, pick up room, listen to Bible story, go over weekly memory verse, brush teeth.
We do the commission system right now. I just made up his chore chart and I use the Titus2.com chore cards because he doesn't read yet. It has been working well so far. I can hand him his chore cards and he knows what to do for each one.
He doesn't love doing the weekly ones but we are working on doing them "cheerfully".
He gets $0.25 for each "smiley face". A smiley face is earned when his daily chores are done and then again when his weekly chores are done, and so on.
At the end of the week we add up the total and 10% goes to church, 10% goes to savings (piggy bank on his dresser) and the rest he can spend but we try to guide his choices.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your suggestions!

Jessica said...

We haven't really gotten there yet, mine is only 2. But we are starting to give her little chores. She is required to put her toys back in the toy trunk after playing. She has to clear her plate and cup from the table after dinner. She doesn't get any money but she doesn't really know what to do with it. She likes to collect change from around the house and knows it's 'money' but doesn't know what that really means.

Emily B said...

I have a 6-year-old daughter. She gets 50 cents per year of her age, each week. So for her, that's $3.00 per week. Of that, she gives 50 cents in the offering at church, saves, $1.00, and has $1.50 to use as she pleases.

Her regular chores are:
1. Feeding and watering our two cats and our tortoise each day before breakfast
2. Clearing the table after every meal
3. Making her bed before breakfast every morning
4. Putting away her toys at night and making sure her clothing is properly put away or in the laundry basket
5. Putting her clean clothes away after I do laundry

Those chores are her mandatory contribution as a member of our family, and do not affect the allowance in any way. Our purpose for giving an allowance is to teach her the value of money, and how to use it wisely.

If she wants more than $3.00 per week, I have a basket of additional jobs she can do for pay. We keep track of what she does each week, and receives her pay when she gets her allowance. Here are some examples.

1. Set the table (10 cents)
2. Prepare breakfast or lunch for Mommy and brother--usually toast and cereal for breakfast, and sandwiches for lunch (10 cents)
3. Fold towels when Mommy is folding laundry (25 cents)
4. Clean little brother's room (50 cents)
5. Help Daddy with yardwork (50 cents)
6. Put brother's laundry away (50 cents)
7. Carry groceries in from the car (50 cents)
8. Collect trash from bedrooms and office (25 cents)
9. Clean baseboards in all 3bathrooms ($1.00)
10. Dust (10 cents per room)

Hope this helps!

Milehimama said...

One more allowance thing I thought of!

We came to the amounts by determining what the children would most likely buy. I wanted them to have enough $ each week to buy SOMETHING, but also not enough to buy everything - I wanted them to have to save up for a toy, etc.

Most toys in my kid's age are around $10-15. So $5 a week - they can buy a little something, tithe, and still have a substantial amount towards their goal of a new Lightsaber or football or whatever.