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Monday, November 24, 2008

The Return of the Allowance

My kids have money on the brain. They want to shop, they want cash, they claim they want an allowance. We’ve gone down this road before. I have made the work charts, I’ve set the weekly wage, and half way through the week my kids grew tired of the idea. In a nutshell, they didn’t want to work hard for the money.

However, we are ready to give it another go. They seem committed. They are talking the talk. They want to fill their piggy banks. So, tonight at the dinner table we made Chore Chart V.3 (o.k. we’ve had a few false starts). We left off the things that the kids should do just because (you know, the room and board chores like cleaning their rooms, picking up the toys downstairs, making their beds). It was interesting to see who was keen to do what. One of my boys was more than willing to pick up our dog’s “presents” in the yard but drew the line when it came to organizing the shoes in the hallway. He was incensed by the idea of having to pick up his siblings shoes---go figure! The other challenge we had was making sure the list was fair. Tears started to flow, when one child thought his list was longer than the others—even though one of his jobs takes place only on the weekends (he’s in charge of the dog’s “presents” on the weekend). It is a tricky feat to make sure everything is fair.

The other interesting part of setting up Chore Chart V.3, was determining the weekly wage. The kids had all sorts of suggestions. “How about a quarter per chore?” suggested one child. “Nah, that is not worth it” chimed in another. We agreed on $2.00 per week, which seems like a deal to me. We’ll see how long it lasts. At least for today, the laundry has been folded, the bathrooms have been straightened, the entry way is clear and the “presents” have been picked up. We are off to a good start!

Share Your Story:
What are your ideas and thoughts on setting up an allowance? What is your weekly "wage", what types of things do your kids do and how successful has it been?

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