Monday, March 14, 2011

Chores? She Wants Chores?

This week is a big week in our household.

My firstborn turns 6. Six! I can't believe it. There are so many thing that I'm not ready for- things others have certainly done ahead of me and I know we will be fine. Things like public school in the fall and things like going to new summer camps and things like losing teeth.

Her Birthday is Wednesday. We have church that evening (dinner for fellowship followed by small group meetings) and Teagan is excited to have her birthday dinner at church. We'll deliver fruit to her classroom on Wednesday- her request in lieu of cupcakes or cookies. She and Christy are planning a special evening out at our local favorite sushi place where Teagan plans to have a Spicy Albacore Tuna roll all to herself. Saturday is a party with some friends from school and Saturday evening will be dinner with family.

We are putting money into treats and the party so she won't have a gift to open from us.

But we are giving her something for her birthday. Something she is very weirdly excited about.

I'm going to be hanging up a board and it will list her chores and she can check off during the week when she's completed a task. I'm thinking she can also do optional bonus stuff- special helper things she does without being asked. Those things will be written down on slips of paper for a special project at church.

Here's where I'm stumped.

What chores do I give her?

I'm thinking, since she wants 6 things to do, that breaking down the clean up of her room and the playroom is best. Something like: BEDROOM 1. Make your bed (daily) 2. Pick up dirty clothes (daily) 3. Put toys and books in playroom (weekly) PLAYROOM 4. Put books on shelf (weekly) 5. Put toys in bins (weekly).

Number 6... I'm torn. All of the other things are really about taking care of her own area, her own things. Should number 6 be something that contributes to the family space more? Maybe helping to clean the shared bathroom?

I don't know what's best here. I don't have firm, clear memories of how my mom handled chores or if getting chores was ever a big deal. But this is something Teagan is really excited about and I don't want her to lose that momentum.

And the second piece is the allowance. My thinking is she gets 6 quarters each week- 1 for completing each chore as requested. I'm also thinking of rules for that money. Like- save 1 quarter for church, 1 quarter for don't touch savings, 1 quarter for spending savings, and 3 quarters to spend or save as she chooses. I've been meaning to do some reading on the best options for teaching money management but I haven't gotten around to it.

I'm asking for advice and tips!! Tell me about your own memories of chores and allowance when you were a kid. Tell me what you've done or plan to do with your kids. Tell me what you think should be completely avoided or what MUST be done!

Bonus video- she asked me to take a video of her riding her bike and here it is!



Anonymous said...

I LOVE the video Liz. What a great idea! She will enjoy viewing that when she is older!

Here is Aiden's chore list. We break things down by day. I dont know if this will help you but I feel that they should have chores in multipe rooms so that they can see how much work goes into caring for a home.


Make yor bed
Clean the sliding patio door
Set the dinner table

Make your bed
Pick up toys in bedroom
Clean the Livingroom window

Make your bed
Clean the kitchen table
Set the table

Make your bed
Put away your laundry
Set the table

Make your bed
Pick up living room
Set the dinner table

Make your bed
clean the breakfast table
Pick up the toys in the sunroom

Make your bed
clean the lunch table
pick up toys in the bedroom

Now...Aiden is only four. None of this is done completely. Those windows always have to be redone. The table may not get squeaky clean. The point, imo, is that he is doing the work...even if it takes him a year to learn how to actually get the table clean. haha.

Also keep in mind that I have 4 chore while Aiden cannot do dshes the other 3 can and so he gets more age appropriate stuff, like setting the table.

As far as the money-I think your idea is spot on! We make our kids put half to savings and I love the idea that you are teaching her to give!!!

Great job mama!

Alison said...

Oh, I like the idea of setting (or clearing) the table. That was one of my chores as a kid; it's a very well-defined task. Some my other chores included closing the curtains every night (we had a lot of windows!), feeding the animals (we had a lot of those too), helping mom dust and water the plants (aaaand a lot of those, too!) If you want to use the bathroom idea, maybe narrow it down to straightening & wiping down the sink?

I think you've actually got it pretty well wrapped up already!

Call Me Cate said...

I can't speak much to age appropriateness since a) I don't have kids of my own and b) my mother loaded me with so many chores that I really detested them.

But I do like the idea of having her do something that contributes to the family well-being in addition to taking care of her own things. Setting the table (with help reaching things), helping with grocery shopping, caring for pets, straightening common areas.

I also like the idea of paying per chore and teaching her how to save/give based on those quarters.

It's funny that she wants chores but if she's begging for them, must be she's ready to start!

Unknown said...

My kids are 6 and 7 and have chores. They don't have chore lists (although, not a bad idea!) They just know when it's time to do these things, they do them, and usually without any arguement. It has worked, so I haven't changed the system.

They always put their dirty clothes in the laundry room
They put their clean clothes away (in the correct drawers)
They set the table
They put up the silverware when the dishwasher is clean
They clean their bedroom and pick up the living room (we usually do the bedroom once or twice a week and the livingroom almost everyday)

The kids LOVE helping. My son especially. In fact they spent over 2 hours on Saturday cleaning up my friend's yard. They didn't want to leave they were having so much fun picking up sticks! lol

Liz Mays said...

One fun thing would be to choose a different room each day and have a chore in it. She'll learn to connect each day with the room and the chore. One thing you didn't mention that she might like is setting the table. :)

Garret said...

More kid interviews. They're the best.
Maybe a blog post requesting questions or topics that might be fun for kids to answer?
I have no suggestions on chores.

Shayla said...

Lori over at Wisdom Comes Suddenly just had a similiar post today. You should check out her blog and read in her comments section...I put in my two cents over there! :)

Mommyfriend Lori said...

Chores! OMG she is so adorable, wanting chores to buy Barbies. I love it! She is a doll!

Unknown said...

She WANTS chores?
Oh my gosh! I love that she wants some :)
Happy Birthday to your sweet baby!

Mrs4444 said...

bathroom garbage?
emptying part of the dishwasher?
sock sorting?

Catie said...

Oh my goodness. What a CUTIE! I posted recently on my blog about starting chores with my 2yr old. Before you start thinking, "What a big meanie!", we don't do them everyday and I try to let her initiate them. She feeds our fish, helps me put clean dishes away and I also have brushing her teeth as a "chore". She gets a sticker each time she does one. She loves it. :)

Eternal Lizdom said...

Catie, I'm glad you popped over from Rachel's blog!

My kids have always done tasks around the house. But usually more in a casual, helping with whatever Mom is doing kind of way. Both kids do things like put dirty clothes in the hamper, pick up toys, feed the dog, put away silverware, etc. But turning 6 felt like the time to have an allowance and I feel like an allowance is earned, not gifted. So now she will have specific chores to do each day, each week.

The big issue is getting myself organized to best set her up for success! But hopefully I get that done this weekend.