Tick Tock Kids. Tick Tock.
Monday, May 17, 2010

Our kids have chores that are "have-to", and other jobs around the house that are "get-to"; meaning if they do the jobs with a good attitude they get paid.  Usually a quarter.  *The chores are constants, and the jobs are handed out arbitrarily, or sometimes when they ask "Is there anything I can do to earn a quarter?" (My middle child is quite the laborer. He asks nearly daily.)  For something really toxic and/or hazardous, like cleaning out and vacuuming my van, they get a bit more than a quarter.  I think last time I paid  $.80.  My generosity is astounding. 

My new favorite parenting trick:

"Okay guys!!!  You know your chores HAVE to be done.  They will get done one way or another.  Usually you do your chores without payment, but since I'm feeling charitable if you can work together, be kind, cooperate, and finish in less than 10 minutes it will mean a quarter for each of you. If you don't work together and don't get finished in 10 minutes, you'll still do the chores but you won't get paid.  NOW GO!"

I like to watch them scurry.  It's also fun to see the younger two kids default to soldier status, taking and obeying orders from their big brother, the Cleaning General.   Amazing what they'll tolerate when a quarter is at stake!

I simply sit back and watch their feverish cooperative cleaning, randomly yelling out the time left on the clock.  Not a bad way to spend 10 minutes.

* Many thanks to my friends Cheri and Anne for helping me fine tune the allowance procedures.  I had tried chores charts and other systems in the past, and let's be honest - there's no way I was going to keep up with a chart.  This system my friends shared works for me because I get to live in the moment!  The unpaid chores (bedrooms, playroom, bathroom) the kids know they are to do after school before any TV time.  The paid jobs I just give out randomly.  "Hey Ryan, I need you to vacuum.  Good job.  Here's your quarter."  Boom!  Done!  "Hey Lauryn. Please wipe off the table.  Good job.  Enjoy this ten cents." Moving on with my life!  No charts to check!  "Hey Dylan, I need you to windex and wipe down the front and back glass doors.  Nice. Here's your quarter."    So easy!


Blogger dwcliff had this to say:

Wait until they are teenagers and suddenly the 25 cents turns to $10 or $20.

May 17, 2010 at 12:19 PM 

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Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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