Interesting read from an Australian blogger who does not give pocket money! I respect this opinion.
Why we don’t give pocket money for chores by Michelle@geeyourebrave.com
Last night on the drive home from ballet my daughter outlined her news topic for today and for once she seemed stumped. Raya loves to stand up in front of the class and talk so her “I don’t know what to say” caught my attention. Normally a silent nod or a “hmm that does sound interesting” is all that is required to accompany her plans for world domination.
It turned out the topic for news today was for children to talk about the chores they did at home and why that was important. Raya informed me she didn’t know what to say because in our house our kids don’t have set chores, we don’t have reward charts and we don’t give pocket money.
No Set Chores I can hear people thinking “gee you’re raising a lazy child there” but I am not advocating children not helping at home. In fact I am suggesting the opposite.
If I look on Pinterest I can find numerous developmental charts which I could spend my rare free time reading to ensure the correct chores are allocated for my daughters age. Yep that is never going to happen.Instead there is a simpler system I use. I call it the Get it Out – Put it away system.
The Get it Out-Put it away system works on the simple idea that if the child is old enough to pull and strew their toys everywhere then they are old enough to return the items. Rafferty my youngest loves to throw his plastic blocks. He also runs to collect them and put them back in the tub when he is finished. This rule also works for clothing and shoes. Playing with an elaborate fort of chairs – then the blankets and chairs can be returned. Pulled all the dress-ups out -then they can be put away in the box.
Think about the gross and fine motor skills your child has (if you must) and you will be able to work out whether your child can complete an activity. They may need to have it modelled the first time for them but after that step out of their way and let them take responsibility.
If your child assures you they cannot put the toy away (and you have a storage option they can access so no excuse) then simply offer to put the toy away in a green garbage bag in the bin and see how quickly they move!! Works a treat in my house.
“But I want to keep the chores fair for all my kids?”
Why? I don’t see what this teaches them. Unfortunately life isn’t always fair. There will not always be lists of the same length. Instead I find it easier to talk to the kids about what are their rights an responsibilities. My children are 4 years apart and therefore I have different expectations of them. They have different rights and responsibilities.
Heave help them if I had a reward chart in our house and heard “but that chore isn’t on my list”. Rather than having kids do a chore to get a sticker or a star I want my kids to develop an attitude where they pitch in and get it done because the job needs doing. An example Raya will clear items off the dining room table. Are they her things (sometimes but usually it is dinosaurs and some books). Do I have to ask her – rarely ever. Because she can see I am cooking and if she is hungry the sooner the table is cleared the quicker everyone eats. Just get in and get the job done.
If there is a spill on the floor – teach kids to wipe it up so someone doesn’t slip. If the toilet paper needs replacing – then do it. If mum is hanging the washing go and help mum with the pegs – not to get a sticker on the chart but because everyone likes to have some help.
My kid hates putting their clothes away
Guess what? So do I! At 35 I still hate putting my clothes away. But washing them and hanging them fresh as a daisy on the clothes line is a different story. I also love cleaning the bathroom but hate mopping our floors. The beauty of living with others is you can work to everyone’s interests. For example Raya loves washing up and she enjoys putting things in the drier for me. She hates vacuuming but loves arranging the cushions on our bed. So in our house there is no “what is on your chart” instead “these 5 things need doing before we leave, what are you going to help me with”.
“My kids won’t do chores if I don’t ask them or reward them”
I don’t see a problem in asking kids to do chores. We all need to learn to ask for help when we need it but I won’t ask more than once. I told Raya to tell her class that our rule is she has no set chores, her job is to respond when asked to. People may laugh when I say this but I refuse to live in a household where my children need a personal invitation to do something around the house. It just isn’t happening on our watch.
In our house we don’t plead and beg for Raya to do things. I don’t say “can you please feed the dog before we go to school”. I say “the dog needs you to feed her she is hungry” and expect her to take responsibility for the task.
I would suggest you stop asking your kids and instead direct them to the task that needs their attention. I do not expect them to unreasonably stop what they are doing and jump to attention like soldiers. I tend to say “when this show is finished you need to” or “before we leave” and let her respond. If she doesn’t then the next time a speedier response is demanded.
No pocket money
Which brings us to the No Pocket Money rule. In our household we do not give Raya pocket money because in our house we all work together because we are a family. This is not business. This is not work and payment for services rendered. This is her home. Where we love and support each other. The place where everyone pulls their weight and does their fair share as best as they can. Home is the place meant to be peaceful – not the place mum loses her shit over children who are over entitled and think mum is the household slave. Do we give Raya any money? – Yes we do give her money – we just don’t link it to chores. We give Raya money to learn the value of money and the role of saving money. Kids need to given opportunities to handle money themselves. She can then allocate this money as she wishes. If she wants something from the school canteen – she has her own money. If she wants an item at the shop – she has her own money. Just like our money – she learns that it is a finite resource and all the “I wants” and whinging doesn’t create more money. An important life lesson.
I reminded Raya of this and she said “but that’s not what happens with everyone else”. I told her it is all about what works best for every family and in our house we don’t have set