chores and allowance dilemmas.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 07-06-2002, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Should the chores and allowance be connected? IE--if the chores are not done, there should be no allowance given?? OR, should they not be connected, because everyone in the household has to pitch in and there shouldn't be monetary rewards for just doing your part?? And then what happens if the chores are not getting done? My Dh feels that chores should be treated like having a job in the real world, you do the work and you are compensated, and I am undecided.
Also-how much allowance to give? My DD is 61/2.
If anyone has any creative solutions for this dilemma, I'd love to hear about them!
Thanks.....e
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#2 of 18 Old 07-06-2002, 01:05 PM
 
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In our house chores are just what you do because you are part of the family...no money for doing your fair share. If you don't do your chores, you lose a priviledge (tv time, etc.). Allowance is given weekly and is not contigent on chores. Our allowance is pretty low ($5/week) and $2 of that has to go into what we call "long savings" to be used for college, car, whatever ...some long term future goal. The other $3 can be used however they wish. The amount goes up a bit with each birthday. We buy all essentials so allowance is really just for any extras they might want. My oldest (11) actually saved for quite a while to buy his own $300 Playstation2 which dh and I wouldn't go for. Took him quite a while but he did it: . If they need extra funds for something they can always do extra chores for money.
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#3 of 18 Old 07-06-2002, 01:49 PM
 
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We have not started giving an allowance in our family, but some friends of ours with an older dughter use an interesting approach. Their daughter is ten, and she receives an allowance for doing well in school. They see her education as her 'job' at this point in her life, and reward her for her school work. Household chores are simply expected - as part of the family, she does her share to maintain the home. Her tasks are specifc (setting table, folding laundry, etc.) and she does them without too much struggle. She is a wonderful girl, and I think that there is a high level of mutual respect in their family.
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#4 of 18 Old 07-07-2002, 02:30 AM
 
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We haven't started doing allowances yet so I have enjoyed reading the different responses here. I had a friend who was paid for her grades when I was growing up and it just looked to much like bribery to me. I do think the kids need to do their share of work, regardless of money, as a member of the family, so I guess that means allowance would just be their share of spending money. It's an interesting topic.
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#5 of 18 Old 07-07-2002, 06:21 PM
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I think chores should be looked upon as a way of teaching respect and responsibility. As adults, we don't get compensated when we do our dishes, wash our clothes, keep our living spaces clean. Well, we get compensated by feeling good that our spaces are clean LOL!
If we teach our children how to be responsible and to clean, they will learn how to respect all of the space they come in contact with. It will be easier to teach them littering is not okay, and how to recycle and not waste.
I think if you are going to do the allowance thing, it should relate to money management, not compensation. Compensation should be a way of feeling good about yourself and others, not about materialism and being a 'good worker'.
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#6 of 18 Old 07-07-2002, 11:34 PM
 
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This is a tough topic because I can see the good points on all sides. Our daughter is 5 1/2 and just a couple of weeks ago my husband decided to offer her an allowance ($3/week) if she picked up after herself every day. I guess he got tired of reminding her over and over... She is a really good kid with a good heart, she naturally helps us around the house, she doesn't ask for much and she doesn't waste, she is just a very messy child:LOL. I think it's her personality because she can play/work around clutter & noise and she isn't fazed one bit by it, so to have it all out around her is comfortable to her. But since dh offered her an "allowance" she has been ON IT (hopefully I'll say the same thing in 2 more weeks/months/years)! BTW we could have offered 2 cents, or even a weekly treat, and she would have been just as excited. It works for us. If it somehow turns negative then we'll re-adjust, but for now it's !
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#7 of 18 Old 07-08-2002, 10:29 AM
 
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We just started allowance with ds mostly bc he constantly asks for me to buy him ~stuff~ He gets $3.00 a week, and it is not connected to chores ...he's been told that he needs to contribute as a member of the family. He resists alot so i've got a star chart. He gets a star every day when he gets his jobs done (setting table, making bed, etc) and extra stars if he does it w/out being reminded more than once...also i try to catch him cooperating or other helpfull things by giving him a star. When he gets 20 stars, i told him i will take him to the toy store (which he is always begging me to do ) or something else special (i try to emphasize other things) and he spends ~his~ $$

We will see if this works, we are going to re-evaluate it in a few months.

Blessings, Kelly
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#8 of 18 Old 07-08-2002, 10:55 AM
 
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I think chores and allowance should be separate, and allowance should not be "payment" for anything. Chores are a person's contribution to maintaining the family home; allowance is the money from the family budget that is allotted to a person for individual needs. The reason kids should get a formal allowance, rather than taking money from the family coffers when they need it, is that they don't yet have the money-management skills to be responsible with unlimited funds, but otherwise their financial position is similar to that of a SAHP: They aren't paid a salary for what they do; the family takes care of them to enable them to do those things. JMHO.

I got an allowance from age 4, and my dad taught me a system of money management that I continue to use and definitely will teach to my child when I have one: As soon as you receive money, divide it into categories to "spend," "save," and "share." (A kid can have 3 different-shaped banks for these purposes; I now use Quicken.) Money in "spend" can be used as you like, whenever you like. Money in "save" can be used only for big long-term goals, and when it builds up to a certain amount you transfer it to an interest-earning account. Money in "share" is used to help others by putting it in the church collection plate, donating to a charity of your choice, buying something for a homeless person, etc. For a kid, it helps to dole out the allowance in such a way that it's easy to divide among the categories. I believe my first allowance was 25c/week: a dime and a nickel to spend, a nickel to save, and a nickel to share.

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#9 of 18 Old 07-08-2002, 05:38 PM
 
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I agree that kids shouldn't get paid for doing chores, yet I have found that it is the only way to get my kids to pick up their rooms. My kids will happily do anything else around the house, but picking up their toys has been a huge battle, so we decided to try to bride them with a dollar a week. Every night they have to pick up the toys, have their bedroom floor picked up, shut their closet door, and put any dirty clothes in the laundry before they go to bed. It takes less than 15 minutes per day now with no nagging or whining. They get their dollar on Friday and each have a piggy bank. They can spend in on whatever they want to, however, if they choose to spend in on books, art supplies etc., we will pay half. If the choose to spend it on junky plastic toys or candy they pay the full amount.

My kids are 4 and 5.
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#10 of 18 Old 07-08-2002, 08:50 PM
 
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Hi
I agree with the folks that say that money and chores should be kept separate. If there are any Barbara Colloroso fans out there, she talks about this in her book. Namely, that children need to do chores because they are a part of a family and everybody needs to contribute to having a nice space to live in, and that allowance is about teaching children to manage money. My six year old son has been getting a dollar a week for the past year, it has been fun to watch him learn about value for money, he has already figured out, that he can get more toys for his dollar at a garage sale than he can at a store and sometimes the same toy (in his budget) at a garage sale that he has been coveting at a store! My three year old also gets the same allowance, and he has learned that if he spends his dollar on candy, and then sees a toy he wants, he has to pass because he has spent and eaten his allowance! Hopefully it will all pay off when they are making big decisions about rent and clothes and adult stuff. Chores, on the other hand, remain an uphill struggle and the arguements are tiring, but they are learning to manage money!
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#11 of 18 Old 07-08-2002, 08:54 PM
 
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I strongly recommend you read "How to talk so kids will lsiten..." by adele faber and elaine maslich, as well as "practical parenting" by Stanley Shapiro and "Kids are worth it!" by Barabara Colorosso. External motivation is an uphill climb - these books gives you practical strategies for creating intrinsic motivation and natural/logical consequences for not doing chores and other parent challenges.
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#12 of 18 Old 07-08-2002, 11:53 PM
 
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we also don't attatch it to chores. she's been expected to help regardless. the allowance thing has just started in the past couple of weeks. some do a dollar per year of thier age, but i'm not looking forward to $30 of allowance in thier teenage years LOL. call me a cheapskate.

i heard someone say that some parents do 1/2 dollar per year. that sounds good. of course i'm not wanting to mess around with change so my 5 year old will get $3 until she turns 7 and then she'll get $4 for 2 years. works for me!

jeannie
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#13 of 18 Old 07-13-2002, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great input everyone!!
This has really helped clear it up for me...I agree that the two should not be contingent on the other. I was happy to see a book suggestion for a book that I actually own (how to talk so kids will listen)--but have I read it yet? no...tsk, tsk. Thanks again, I will give these suggetions a try!
~e
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#14 of 18 Old 07-15-2002, 01:25 PM
 
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This is what works for us in my home. My son is 5 1/2. He is always asking for something at the store, due to the fact that at his father's house he gets something everytime they go out, plus an allowance. I decided that wasn't what I wanted to teach my son so I do this:
He is on a point system. If he does all his normal tasks, like making his own bed in the morning, getting dressed, putting things where they belong when he comes in etc. he gets 1 point a week, which for me equals $2.50. When he saves up 4 points he is allowed to spend it or save them for something bigger. A few times he has saved 8 points and was able to get a bigger toy. Sometimes he spends it right away. For me the 4 points equals a 10dollar item. The other thing he can do is choose to use his points to go somewhere special. Though that hasn't happened yet. I am trying to teach him to save and not just spend right away the 4 points he has earned. This makes it easy to explain the price of an item. If he wants something that is 12.99, I tell him he has to save 1 more point for it. If its a 4.99 item, I tell him he has 2 points left and can save them or spend them.
It works for us.
Maize
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#15 of 18 Old 07-16-2002, 10:35 PM
 
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I hope you don't mind if I reply, even though my daughter is only 2 and obviously not on any type of "allowance" deal yet.

I agree that allowance and chores should be separate and the loss of a privelege is proper "punishment" for not doing chores. I just wanted to add one other thing: I plan to give Maddy a set amount of money per week (heaven only knows what!) and tell her that 10% of it will be used for charity or a worthy cause. I separate the two because I see "worthy causes" as things like giving money to a school or some type of social movement whereas I see charity as, well, charity.

I also plan to give her as one of her chores a "random act of kindness" assignment which can be anything for anyone - a love note to her grandma, an anonymous thank you card for the teacher, etc. I definitely want to instill that in her as well.

Great question!

LoveBeads and Love my Maddy-Moo, age 2!
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#16 of 18 Old 07-16-2002, 10:47 PM
 
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i aslo have a too young for allowance child, hes three and a half, but ive been following this thread for a while in the shadows, hehe , because its very interesting to me and why not get a jump on some issues

neway, i wanted to say that we (my family) just redid our budget and we have added a permant 5 percent of each paycheck to a "sharing fund" whitch i got off someone elses post, -thanks btw

what we did is when we went to fred myer we went to the toy section (beforehand explaining to ds that we were not buying a toy for him) and let him help pick out a toy within the budget to donate - to give to some other kid who didnt have a toy,

now he knows a little about the other side of this because we were homeless for 6 months and we got many free things from varius agencies,

luckily the sharies down the street is holding a toy,supplies,food drive so we just have to walk there to do our deed,

my hope is that this will have been a regular thing for a few years by the time that hes old enough to get an allowence and hell want to do the same,

i plan to insist that part of it goes directly to savings but i dont want to make him "share" if he doesnt want to, so well see how that goes


edited to add that i think that random acts of kindness thing is a sweet thing and i think well give that a shot , im assuming you got that from oprah , my freinds and i have played around with that a little but ill admit i hadnt given it a thought as an interaction with ds, thanks
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#17 of 18 Old 07-17-2002, 03:45 PM
 
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I just wanted to say one thing with this whole allowance discussion. I was never given allowance at all, nor was I paid for chores. And though you would think that I would have had a hard time learning about money management I did not, and in fact when I look at my peers I have better money management skills then most of them.

When I was growing up (in the counrty and I admit this may have made the difference in why this worked for me and my brothers.) I simply asked my parents for money when I needed it. If my friends invited me to go to Water World my parents gave me the money to get in and some extra for food and such. If I didn't spend it all I got to keep it. (this was when I was a pre-teen and teenager) I was also given money for birthdays and for doing big jobs like watering my grandparents trees or whatever, and that money I saved. So, I guess I didn't have money burning a whole in my pocket that was just given every month and that helped me to not want things just because I had money. When I went shopping with me mom once a month we always got to have one thing (Usually in the $10 range) and very often my brothers and I would pool our "allowance" and get something that we could all have fun with. And so I didn't have a great need for money of my own because the money in my family was really just that family money and if there was something we needed or really wanted we got it, (within reason...we were not rich, we were farmers)

So I guess what this long post is meant to say is that I don't think an allowance is necassary to produce children who are good money managers, and in fact I think that I will try not to give Julianna an allowance at all (unless living in the city necassitates this, as it may...I'm flexible)
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#18 of 18 Old 07-17-2002, 04:35 PM
 
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that is a fantastic point, i will certainly think about that, thank you
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