Do we as parents really realize what kind of MONEY
we are throwing at our kids on a daily basis JUST FOR BEING BORN?
The Latest Cell Phone Newest Game System Computers Name Brand Clothes ATVs Just to list a few-
I know my husband and I always wanted and still want our kids to have everything and every opportunity we did not have the luxury of getting. But does that really help our children grow as responsible children and young adults? Well with a 15 (and a half because that really matters at this stage so close to 16) year old Son, A 7 year old daughter, and A 4 year old daughter (but days away from 5).
We have lived Check to Check for many years. But coming from families that also lived that way it wasn't that big of a deal. Of course we would like to have lots of free money to go out to eat multiple times of week without putting our pockets in a state of REGRET, but that's o.k.!
Our son doesn't have the latest game systems and only in the past 3 years has he gotten a game system in our home. Yes, It was a Christmas present. And NO he never gets the newest games because $50 for a game when in a few months will be $25 or less is just CRAZY to us.
They drive me nuts- Firstly- Every kid seems to have one. And yes, when my son was in middle school he was really feeling the pain and telling me daily how he was THE ONLY KID without a cell phone. Why oh Why do these parents do this? Is your Young Child away from you so much that you feel the need to add a $30- $60 a month bill just to keep track or communicate with them? NO- my kids are with me, and they don't need a phone. But in 9th Grade I broke down and got him one because of Football. Practice was on and off and we needed a way to be in the know, and guess what even the coach "Assumes" all the kids have one and tells them to communicate through text.
Do your kids ask to go to the movies with friends? Do you just hand them money? Do your kids ask to go to the fair, bowling, the mall, etc... and do you just hand over the cash? Well- I have been against Allowance most of these last years because I feel the kids should do their part around the house by taking care of their areas and selves. But when times got REAL tough with a new house payment and word of layoffs and hours being cut back it got REAL for the whole family. I knew it was Hot dog and Bread for dinner time- Driving only when necessary time- shortening shower time lol. My kids were not on board and while I didn't like it either I knew it was sacrifices that had to be made and it would have been much much easier to go with the flow without the constant whining and why's from the kids. Going to the store was torture because I knew I only had $50 or so to get 3 meals or more a day to feed 5 of us and most times more because we often have 2 or 3 extra kids in our house around meal times.
The kids just could not stop WANTING everything and Whining when they could not have it.
My 4 year old, however did come around a bit due to her young mind. She now looks at something and says "Mommy, when that goes on sale then can we afford it?" lol
So I gave in and Started Chore Charts.
They thought WOOHOO- we are gonna get paid- but when they found the payment to be very very small they were not as eager- I used a color system because some chores are just to be expected like
- Brushing teeth in the morning
- making bed
- cleaning room
- pick up dirty laundry
- put away shoes
- clean the family room etc....
. They get a WHOPPING .25 a day just for taking care of their own messes lol
Then there are the Orange Chores- These are more things that can be done as asked throughout the day as long as they are done before bedtime. These earn them a WHOPPING .05 cents each... but they can do them daily so that can add up.
Some of these chores are:
- Unloading the Dishwasher
- Loading the Dishwasher
- Taking out Trash
- Putting away Laundry
- Picking up Toys in yard
- Helping with Sisters
- Wiping Counters
- Cleaning Bathroom etc....
- Read for 30 minutes
- weed the garden
- Draw a picture
- Play a Game
- Play Outside
But I'm not perfect and neither are my kids and its well worth the effort to get them interested in doing other things.
They also lose points for Being disrespectful to parents Being mean to siblings etc.
Everyones chart is different as they all have different money needs and their ages are so different. Also they don't get paid for ANY chores unless the YELLOW section is complete daily -
That was the big catch- after the 2nd week of still constantly reminding it finally hit EUREKA!
We were BROKE and times are TOUGH and had to tell my 15 year old no- can't go there- no no no We just didn't have $20 to hand him to do this and that- And if we did hand it to him are we really teaching him anything?
So FINALLY he was invited to the movies and to eat afterwards- MINIONS was gonna be a big hit. I told him he would have to do extra chores to get that kind of money.
All day I let him know that he wasn't getting anything if they were not complete before Saturday.
He was supposed to deep clean the yard (lots of leftover construction out there) Clean the Kitchen, and Clean his room. It was getting Late and I was gonna have to make a believer out of him.
So I left with the girls to go to Wally World and left him home.
|When you say no- Do you get the LIP!|
I get back 2 hours later (it had Rained really hard) so he had not picked up the yard of course but when I walked in the house
I WAS BLOWN AWAY!
My husband had arrived home from work and was in the kitchen cooking dinner (he LOVES to COOK) and I noticed how CLEAN the kitchen was and I know I didn't leave it that way- I mean all counters cleaned- swept- and what was that smell? Was that Pin-sol from a fresh mop???? I asked my husband if he had cleaned up and he said NO-
He told me when he got home
our son was MOPPING!!!!!
So then I go to the family room to compliment him on a job well done and he explains about how it was raining so he couldn't clean up the yard but
To What Did my EYES APPEAR????
A Spectacular- Squeaky CLEAN Family Room- he took it upon himself to add another chore to replace the other- I was JAW TO THE FLOOR! Then I peaked at his room sure he had forgotten something---- But to my surprise he had completed ALL the chores.
And then he asked how much money he would get for his Movie and Dinner evening and I told him $20. And he was more than happy with that.
So the 2 weeks finally paid off.
And I hope after his night out he appreciates the reward of his hard work and appreciates working for a payoff. Just as he will have to as an adult.
So I will stick with paying my kids for WORK DONE and not for BEING BORN not only because we are on a STRICT BUDGET but to teach them if you want this- you have to do this.
And they learn to work- and complete tasks- and to earn.
I am sure I will fail-
I am sure they will fail-
but its a much better fit for our family then just handing over cash for everything they desire.
I have seen kids grow up after being given IPHONES in ele. school and every time there is a friend asking "can you go to the mall, movies, dinner, etc" the parents fund it- and they grow up being entitled- selfish adults. They are not giving- meaning when they do get money-
THEY DON'T SHARE-
and they are just S-P-O-I-L-E-D
My kids will do chores for money-
They will not worship BRANDS and will wear hand-me-downs and Off Brand Clothes-
They will be told NO Tell your kids to Put Down the Electronics and Play a Family Game- Get Outdoors- Go Fishing-
Have a Meal that's TECH free-
No one distracted-
No headphones in the CAR- That one drives me NUTS- Have a Conversation while driving-
Make use of every moment with your kids-
Pay attention to what they say and what their interests are.
Pay attention to their Friends and activities and you will be a stronger closer family for it!
It works for us....for today- so that's what we will do.
What kind of Chore/Reward systems does your family use. I would love to hear your ideas!