Mary and Sam have been asking for ways to earn money lately. Being the busy, pregnant, tired, mother that I am lately, I have not had it in me to make them the usual fancy, decorated, creative, mark off with stickers, job charts that I usually make them every summer.
Nope, not the time for that, and besides, it's not summer yet. The kids have enough going on with school, sports, and just being a kid, that they really don't have time to be marking off a list of jobs every day either.
I went to a friends house for a fun girls lunch with some good friends from the neighborhood, and this very topic came up.
I am not one that gives my children allowance. To each their own, and I have no problem with people that do give allowance, I just don't like how it gives the kids the idea that money is free...in my personal opinion. If we all could get paid for just living, we would miss out on so many lessons, and so much character building.
I got a great idea at this lunch. I wish I could say it was completely my own, but it is a compilation of some of the thoughts and ideas that came up, mixed with some ideas of my own as well.
I have had a hard time with the idea of paying my kids for doing household chores. They live here, they are part of a family, and we all pitch in....for free. To me, it just comes with being a human in a house with a family.
I do want my kids to earn money though, and they definitely aren't old enough to go out and get jobs.
SO...I made a list of jobs, that are above and beyond the normal jobs they are required to do, because they are part of our family. Jobs that are more difficult, and take a good amount of time.
I wrote those jobs down on our family "command board" we have on the wall, and then wrote down how much each job would earn.
I am HORRIBLE at paying my kids what I owe them. I just never, ever have change on me. I am famous for saying, "Remember that I owe you a dollar," and then forgetting about it.
So, right smack on the job board, is an envelope with the money right there in it. The second the kids do the job, and Ben or I approve their work, they get the money.
For Family Home Evening, we explained the chart to the kids, and then talked to them about tithing, saving, and spending. We helped them make binders with zipper pages in them. Each page is labeled, "tithing, saving, and spending."
Each time they make money, they split it into these 3 categories.
I am LOVING how this is working out.
The kids are not required to do any of the money making jobs at any time. They can pick and choose when they want to do them.
I have noticed that the work ethic in our home has gone up. When Mary and Sam are bored, they will do a job sometimes, instead of turn to complaining and whining. Ben and I find ourselves teaching our children how to do different things, that normally, we would just do ourselves, and Mary and Sam are learning so much about being responsible with money.
William went out today, and cleared rocks with Ben, Mary and Sam. It was one of their money making jobs. William worked HARD and really did his best. He was following the examples of his older siblings, and he wanted to be a part of it all. This made me smile.
After William's hard work, I gave him a quarter. In his mind, a quarter means a ride on the really weird electronic pig thing they have a Walmart. But hey, he felt rewarded for his hard work, and was proud of it. A pig ride it is!
I am so glad for the moments of brainstorming with good friends, and for personal revelation. This has been a great thing in our home!