The downfall to living in a neighbourhood where you are surrounded by other kids, is that they talk.. too much and about things they should not be talking about. Apparently, not discussing wages is only applicable when you are old enough to handle a job, when you are old enough to have co-workers and have been taught that discussing wages is inappropriate. Thanks neighbour kids for jacking up the going rate for everything from the tooth fairy to Santa Clause and now allowance! I reached out to many friends for tips on how to handle this next conversation with Ava but ultimately had to find a system that worked for our family!
I have been one of those lucky mothers who has managed to have her child to do chores without having to pay for it until now! We recently increased Ava’s chore list from only having to take care of the recycling to adding in loading and unloading the dishwasher and tidying of the room daily! This had been going well, she was managing it, she handled her list like a champ…. until one day when left unattended they got allowance!
A: “about these chores, how come I don’t get paid? All the other kids get paid!”
M: “are you freakin’ kidding me?!”
A: “No, all the other kids get money for doing their chores! I want to get something for doing this!”
CRAP.. and like running into a brick wall, all conversations abruptly stopped. “QUICK.. think of something” I mutter to myself! She knows she’s got me! ANNND it starts, the lists forms of all the reasons she thinks she should get an allowance, how much of an allowance she should get and what she is willing to do for said allowance. I don’t remember what age I was when I started getting an allowance, but I do remember $2 bills quite frequently.. (ha! Remember those?) I also remember having things to buy with that allowance because I lived in a small city and the times were different then, you could walk or bike to the store with no worries. What the heck does she think she needs the money for?!
These were my 3 points to discussing allowance and chores with Ava in a way that left me feeling positive about chores and allowance and motivated Ava to go above and beyond chores for an allowance!
- Kindly explain to your child that those 3 itty bitty chores that she has are just part of her being a happy successful member of the family! I explained to Ava that we are raising her to be an amazing person who is able to complete a job without requiring a thank you, a treat, money or a metal. Because let’s face it, you don’t always get a metal, you don’t always get a thank you, and you don’t always get paid for doing a small job! Sometimes we do things just because…
- Offer up a list of chores that can be completed that ARE worth money and obviously make the job age appropriate and expectations age appropriate as well! I used to clean my Dad’s work truck, and there is no amount of elbow grease that could completely remove the amount of dirt and sawdust out of his truck from my non- professional auto detailing service! Thankfully, they knew my performance would never be on that level.
- Encourage your child to work towards something, maybe there is a certain toy or a specific book that they want. Challenge them to see how long it will take them to achieve their goal and how rewarding it can be to work towards something! Being able to see their goal, work towards it and then praise them when they get there or motivate and lift them up when they are struggling.
Further more, call all the parents of the children who planted this seed in your kids head and tell them to teach their child not to discuss wages.. haha.. seriously though, we moms gotta stick together! Obviously, I am not 100% serious but I have had the discussion with the other parents about what their ideas are for chores or rates and how they are handling this area, Getting on the same page, or at least knowing what page other parents are on will help you down the road!
I’m not saying these tips are guaranteed and that you’re child won’t whine profusely about having to do extra chores but you’re at least one step closer to not raising a little jerk who expects a hand out! For this.. Congrats on being a good parent!