fbpx ;

It’s Happening. They’re Doing Their Chores

choresYou know when you come up with grand plans and your kids basically laugh in your face? Those times when you wonder why  you even left the house because it’s just easier to wallow in your own chaotic stew of a life than take your chaos on the road? Or even when you make a semi-complicated dinner — meaning you use more than four ingredients and have to look at a recipe — and the whole time you’re cooking, your kids are screaming, one is falling off the couch, one has a dirty diaper and you’re basically yelling your head off to keep the peace so you can finish the meal.

Or when you go the the wholesale store to stock up on diapers and milk and everything is going well because you’re hitting every sample stand there is, keeping everyone’s blood sugar stable, until your cart is super full and then your toddler decides that’s when she’s going to stand in the cart or scream so you push your thousand-pound cart around one handed with a baby struggling on your hip. And by the time you get out the door and back to your car you practically collapse with relief that you survived it.

Or when you take the time to get swimsuits on, sunscreen on three kids, get the kiddie pool filled in the backyard and then they just decide that five minutes is enough for them when the previous day 5 hours wasn’t enough.


Remember the allowance plan I mentioned several weeks ago? The plan was that the kids would do their basic chores — trash cans, dishwasher, clothes where they belong — to earn their allowance each week. They could also be docked points for not completing their chores. Here we are a month later and it’s working.

I’m shocked frankly, because I figured that once the new of the system wore off, the money would lose its power on the kids. But the money has been a great motivator. The kids are eager to jump up and do their chores when I remind them, and my oldest only had to lose one dollar before she started remembering that dirty clothes go in the hamper and pajamas go back in the drawer.

Each Friday we convene and I decide how much they’ve earned for the week. The bonus to the system is that I underestimated the power of the loss of allowance for bad behavior—which I did make good on when my daughter was shrieking (and shrieking and shrieking and shrieking) at her brother for touching a toy (in our house toys are open season if not being actively played with). Additionally, they can earn an extra dollar for going above and beyond (or “high and beyond” as Avery says), which I learned will get the entire dishwasher of dishes put away quite frequently and is awesome.

They’ve also learned just how long it takes for those dollar bills to add up to anything substantial — and how it pays, literally, to be on good behavior and be a good helper. Of course, I want them to be good people without the financial incentive so we’re working on the shrieking and sharing daily (OMG all of them and the possessiveness and the toys), but a few bucks is a small price to pay for their floor to be clean every day!

Have you ever started a new system only to realize you haven’t implemented it beyond the first week?Erin

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!