Kids - Creating a chore chart

I think it is really important that kids understand the importance of earning. We try hard to not buy a lot of toys and junk for our kids. Of course occasionally we do purchase them something, but its usually because they behaved well under a circumstance or helped out with something around the house (babysitting your little brother while Dad and I dealt with a leaking ceiling). Because we have been firm about our "no's" since they were little, they don't throw tantrums when they don't get something they want. If they really want something they have to save.

We have a white-board calendar in our dining room with weekly "mandatory" chores for each kid. On that board is also the kids virtual bank that keeps track of their funds. The image below shows the start of July and the end of June at the bottom. As they do their chores they cross them off.

The 12yo cleans the cat box every week, she also feeds the cat and makes sure his bowls are clean. The 8yo dumps the compost bins every week, which we recently put on hold as we relocate our compost bin and now he is expected to help me pull weeds every week. They rotate taking out the trash.

Every other Sunday they either clean their rooms, or tend to the bathroom chores; 12yo scrubs the sink, 8yo scrubs the toilet. They are also expected to practice their instrument everyday. Which they almost do everyday...

Payday is every 2 weeks, the 12yo gets $3, the 8yo gets $2. They can earn additional money by doing extra chores, we have a cheat sheet just under the board. Everything is abbreviated so it can fit on the board. My daughter, Darby the 12yo, just added doing the dishes as an extra chore. They keep track of what they have "in the bank". When they decide to spend some of their money they subtract that money when we get home.

Darby is the chore dictator of the house, more than the hubby and I. Often we help the kids clean the bathroom so we can teach them how to do it right. Or help with the cat box. It definitely takes more time and you have to take a deep breath and smile knowing this would be so much easier if I just did it myself... But, my kids are learning the notion that Mom and Dad are not going to hand me money and send me on my way to spend. If they break their electronic devices (which are hand-me-downs, super basic or they saved all their holiday money for something better), they have to save to replace them.

I think this is a really important lesson. Sometimes my kids fight us on it, but now that we've done this for a handful or years they've gotten into the habit of just getting it done. It's pretty fantastic.


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