Friday, June 14, 2013


A friend of ours gave a wallet and $3 per month to her little boy when he turned 5.  Two of those dollars go in the savings account and one is for spending.
Another friend gave $3 per month but one was for keeping, one was for saving, and one was for giving away to someone else.  

My son, however, has recently been spoiled by my dad who decided to give him a quarter every time he made a basket on the 5 foot net.  Then kiddo followed my dad around for the rest of the trip, "Will you give me money if I take a bath?  ....if I play with trains?  ...if I pick up sticks?  ...if I keep all my pee in the toilet ??"(okay, I could get behind that one!)  

So, we've entered the world of money. 

I'm going to tell you about the jobs that we've given my kid.  But first, I'm going to give you a job.  Your job is to not judge.  I find that this is a great place in any story for other moms to listen to what we've decided will work for us and then say, 

"Oh REALLY?  Because I think..."  
...that kids should never watch TV
....that kids should not eat sweetened yogurt
...that you should loosen up and give him lollipops
...that you should force him to eat whatever's on the table
...that you shouldn't play with your child so much, how demanding!  
...that you should play with your child more, be present!  

You know the drill.  You've been there too I'll bet.  

So with this, there's a balance, right?  There's a certain amount of "helping" that I just expect.  I'm not going to pay him for everything, and I KNOW he'll ask to be paid for everything.  I don't want to create a situation where money is the only motivator.  It's delicate.

We decided to do two charts.  They are not comprehensive, but a guide.  We sat down together and made them as a family.  I let my son pick the colors and decide which pictures I should draw.  Our first chart is called "Family Helping."  We talked about teamwork, taking care of each other, and discussed the things that my husband and I do that we don't get money for...laundry, cooking, etc.

Then we congratulated him for being "Big" enough to be a special part of family helping and we made this chart.  These are basic, basic, things: Dishes to the counter after eating, sorting his laundry, picking up toys, and bringing in objects from the car.  No money here!  (AND YES, I realize that it looks like some creature is pooping out a garbage monster at the bottom...but I'm not like Jen, I have no artistic skills.  My 4 year old believes that it is a car, and some hands.  Good enough.)

Then we moved on to chores.  For now, these things are optional, but paid.  Setting the table, folding laundry  (mostly dish towels and washrags at this skill level!), unloading silverware from the dishwasher, and washing the table.  I know he's not very well compensated, but it's a start.

So far, we've been working this way for a week and it is FABULOUS!  He's stopped asking to be paid for everything and he's actually getting excited about helping.  I'd love to hear what works for you, and I swear, no judging here.



  1. Good job, Daisy. A chart never worked for me. The kid was totally motivated by money, but inconsistent in her actual behavior. I told her I would not pay for jobs that were "family things" and had to be done no matter what. I paid for a pleasant attitude however and charged for whining. (Set an amount in a jar that she could have at the end of a week, but took money out when she was unpleasant.) Charging 50 cents for whining (per occasion) when she was about 6 broke that habit very quickly. Congratulations on your system and may it work for a long time.

  2. AnnaJ - so is the jar allowance? i love the idea of taking money out of the jar when there is whining involved.