I know a lot of you are experts on getting your kids to help out around the house. But I have to admit, I am not one of those people! This year, our family is trying a new method to get kids on board with chores. It is based on the book Cleaning House : A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma. This is NOT a sponsored post–just a book I picked up that had some great ideas for getting kids to help out more around the house and equip them to actually live on their own someday!
Like other kids, mine are involved in school, sports, music and church AND I really like them having free time to play with friends, create things, get outside, play with their pets, etc. In order for them to have time for this, I found myself doing everything for them. And I really do mean just about everything (within the past year we did have our kids start making their own lunches and helping clean up after dinner–but that’s mostly it). And it got really overwhelming. And it taught my kids that they are responsible for very little and that they are capable of very little. And neither of those things should be true.
So we started a little project. Based on Wyma’s suggestions, we put a jar in each child’s room with $30 inside at the start of each month. Every day they complete their chores on their own without complaint, they can keep $1. Every day they do not complete their chore, they lose $1. Each child has the potential of earning $1 a day. My kids previously had NO allowance so this was a HUGE thing for us. My husband and I really weren’t sure that paying out $90 made a whole lot of sense. BUT we decided that now that our kids have their own money, they can pay for a lot more on their own. Want to go to a game with friends? You have the money to do that. Want to buy something at the concession stand? You can do that. I’m not sure that we are really spending any more money and we are helping our kids have the responsibility of figuring out how to handle their money.
Each month, we add on to the responsibilities of the kids. This month, each child needs to start their day making their beds and cleaning their rooms. Next month we are going to add to that based on what works best for our family. We will be using some of Wyma’s suggestions and some of our own based on the needs of our family. I have to tell you my kids rooms have never looked better. I used to have to literally wade through the mess in my daughter’s room and now it is nearly perfect. My kids have been able to keep most of their money, their rooms are so clean, we don’t have to spend our weekends searching for things lost in rooms and they are taking on some responsibility. The pictures are of my kids’ rooms today. Not bad! I really wish I had thought to take a before picture. For reference, I’ve heard from several of her friends that my daughter’s room was the messiest they’d ever seen.
I’ll be popping in throughout the year to let you know how things are going on our little project. In the meantime, I’d love to hear any tips you have to help get kids involved around the house!