At 13, Megan has quickly learned that money talks. She wants things. All kinds of things. Her mommy is no longer able to buy her a toy or coloring book to keep her happy. Right now, she is sooo desperate for a Vera Bradley purse, she actually made her own job chart. I have been struggling with a good system for months/years. Megan took matters into her own hands. She went on myjobchart.com and got it done! However, I am still not sure I believe in paying kids for helping around the house. At the same time, being social with their friends is important and often times means going somewhere that costs money. So, now when they want to go to a movie, bowling, to see their friend skate in an ice show, to Zap Zone or "shopping" with their friends, instead of me giving them the $$, I think it is better for them to budget and make decisions with their own money and decide what is really important. But then, where do you draw the line between what is expected to be done, and what is above and beyond the call of duty?
For example, is putting your backpack away each day a chore. No, it is expected that you pick up after yourself. Is brushing your teeth a chore? No, you are supposed to brush your teeth because you want nice teeth! (Ask kids and they might not agree...Jacob). Then there is the question of age appropriate chores. Should a 13 year old be expected to do more than a 10 year old? Yes, I think so. Also, what happens when your kids are busy and have basketball or swimming or soccer after school and literally have 3 hours or less on school nights to do their homework, eat dinner and take a shower. So, what is "fair" these days? Life is not always fair. Chores are not always fair. Salaries in "real life" are not always fair.
So far what seems to be working is that I am holding half of their weekly allowance as savings and giving them the other half. The savings part is intended to allow them to save for a bigger item they may want at which time I will release the temporary savings if I approve of the item. Does that make sense? Also, we have an upcoming vacation and they can use that money towards the many "souvenirs" they will be wanting. Something tells me they will be much more selective about those souvenirs when they have to pay for them with their own money.
One thing I am sure of is that learning responsibility is important and that being part of a family means doing your fair share. What do you think? Am I on the right track or way off? Well, for right now, when everyone is cooperating, my house is a little cleaner and I'm a little less stressed :)
**UPDATE From the time this post was started to today....the purse has been purchased!**