As parents, we are tasked with the hairy decisions. The ones where you feel like you could make or break your child’s life before they ever have the chance to mess it up themselves. Uggg, we have to find that sweet balance. Don’t spoil them to the point they never leave home. Yet avoid being so strict that at the age of 6 they are considering moving out. So goes the road of parenting, finding just the right mix of free range and monarchy. To harsh? I have 1 simple way to teach responsibility and independence to your kids and I want to share it with you!
My husband Chris and I feel we have found an approach that teaches our kid’s responsibility and freedom to choose all at once. About a year ago we introduced a system into our household that we still follow persistently to this day. Are you ready for this, we refer to them as “chores”. Not in the traditional sense of the word though. Unlike the chores we are so familiar with these are optional, to an extent.
1 Simple Way to Teach Responsibility and Independence to Your Kids
We have assigned age-appropriate “chores” for each of our two children. Each chore has a small amount we are willing to pay for that task to be completed. With the exception of a few that do not need to be completed daily, the kids can choose whatever chores they see that need to be addressed from their list. Upon completion, they mark that task as done on the checklist. The caveat that I referred to earlier, they are optional to the point that if a given task is being neglected, I will ask that it be completed, but at that time it will be completed for FREE. Yes, free because nothing motivates kids to work for money more than the idea of working for free. I wouldn’t work for free, and they don’t want to either.
That my friend is a good sign! The message is getting through. At the conclusion of a week I total up the chores that were completed, and they receive a ticket with the amount they earned for that week to put in their bucket. Periodically they trade those tickets in for cash to divide up between their “give,” “save,” and “spend” allocations they have set aside.
Here are some of the “chores” that we have on our weekly checklist:
- Put dishes away
- Empty trash cans
- Sweep kitchen
- Pick up playroom
- Clean up bathroom
- Straighten up around the house
- Clear off and/or wipe down kid’s table
- Put dog toys away
- Refill dog water bowl
Giving your children a chance to earn money in exchange for hard work is a lesson that has life-long positive consequences. Allowances without work set unrealistic expectations and work without reward is just as counterproductive. The “commissions” my kids have earned from doing chores doesn’t warrant a bank account at this time but it is good money to them, and it is enough to teach the “give,” “save,” “spend” principle that is key to healthy money management as an adult. Implementing this strategy is 1 simple way to teach responsibility and independence to your kids.
In a world where we are frequently faced with deciding the best course of action to set our kids on a positive path toward adulthood, this system for earning money is a no-brainer. And of course, you also get help out around the house; it’s a win-win! ♥
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