Over the years we have tried various methods of pocket money and help around the house with Alexander and Ruby and none of them have really stuck.
I don’t agree with giving them money for nothing. I appreciate that some people don’t think that chores should be financially rewarded as no-one pays me for cooking dinner or doing the washing and they think that chores should help to show children how we all work together to keep the house going. I totally get that idea and sort of agree but until they bring back chimney sweeping and cotton weaving for the under 10s, this is the only consistant work that they have available to them!
When I was growing up I had friends who did loads of housework and friends who did none – I fell somewhere in the middle. My brother and I had some jobs to do but I don’t remember housework being a big issue. I’d like it to be the same for Alexander and Ruby. I’d like them to know how to wash dishes, sweep floors, sort washing and tidy up before they leave home – and if I start now then we might just get there!!
I work much better with a visual reminder of the jobs I have to do – and the visual reminder of a sink full of dishes is not enough – I generally write myself a ‘to do’ list and take great satisfaction in crossing things off as I get through them!
The kids are similar and are much less likely to flail around moaning about how UNFAIR it is if they see that they are only asked to do a couple of very specific jobs. Writing ‘tidy your room’ is too vague so I have to say ‘put all the books in a pile’ or ‘put away all the dolls clothes’.
So I made them a magnetic to do list. I made fabulously gender stereo-typed magnets I varnished little slips of paper with simple jobs onto the back of glass tiles, then I stuck magnets onto the back of the tiles with super-duper strong glue. Then I divided a piece of paper into two columns – TO DO and DONE – and stuck it to the fridge. In the morning, I choose what jobs they need to do and put the tiles under the ‘to do’ and when they are finished the job they move it over to the ‘done’ side. The jobs have to be done and if they are done without complaint and without being reminded then they get 50 cents.
We’ll see how this method sticks – if nothing else, I don’t have to do the dishes for a few days 🙂