Conlan has had chores since he was about a year and a half. Of course, at that time they weren’t really “chores” but rather “fun things I get to do with mommy.” The tasks he consistently helps with have remained the same over the past years, so a few months ago we decided it was time to formalize the process and give him actual chores.
We’ve also been teaching him about money, so the timing was perfect.
Enter the chore chart. There are probably much better, nicer ones on Pinterest but since I’m not on Pinterest I just came up with a basic one.
Conlan has 4 chores: help with laundry, help unload the dishwasher, pick up toys on the living room floor, and feed the dog. When he does them, he gets to put a magnet on the board. Even after a few months, he still gets REALLY excited to put a magnet on the board.
He doesn’t get paid for his chores. The four chores he does are “because he’s a Slaney and Slaneys help take care of each other.” He can earn money by doing work above and beyond his regular chores. If he does something to earn money, like helping in the yard or cleaning out the car, he puts a money magnet on the board. Saturday is payday around here. Believe me, it’s WAY more exciting than the magnets.
So far, so good. When I ask him to do his chores I get the occasional “No, thank you,” but for the most part he complies. I’m not sure what we’ll do if the excitement of the magnets wears off.
We see his view of money continue to grow, too. To be fair, he hasn’t been a huge tantrum kid and we haven’t had big struggles with the “I-wants” in the toy aisle. But there certainly have been some challenges in that area. Now, when we’re in the grocery store and we walk by the toy section and something catches his eye instead of asking “Can we buy it?” he asks “How many dollars does that cost?” If he goes on to ask if we can buy it, all I have to ask is “Do you have $20 today?” and the conversation is over pretty quickly.
Of course, things still pop up. My water glass needed filling and Conlan was quick to volunteer. I was so proud of his little servant’s heart until he asked for money afterwards. “Mommy, I did work for you! Can I have some money?” Ummm…no. Still, I feel we’re off to a good start teaching him about both family responsibilities and the value of a dollar!