Finding a system of allowances and chores for kids can be mind boggling. Then add the complication of differing parenting opinions on the subject, and you are sure to throw your hands up in frustration.
Often parents use the combination of chores and allowance to teach kids responsibility and reward good behavior. This process can become lengthy and time consuming, almost to the point of losing the whole lesson altogether. As most of us parents know, once the idea becomes cumbersome and confusing… kids usually tune out.
Let me give you an example. A friend of mine wanted to offer her kids an allowance, but made it like a paycheck – with a direct dollar amount for each chore. So, she created a chart with items such as:
*Make Bed = 10 cents
*Get Ready for School on time = 25 cents
*Put laundry away = 50 cents
Certainly an interesting idea, but guaranteed to drive even a good parent nuts. Then you have parents who make a list of chores and offer up a set allowance each week. Either they then don’t pay them the allowance if the chores don’t get done, or they end up yelling at the kids and still paying the allowance.
Instead, let’s discuss a simple way to combine a variety of these allowance concepts. Instead of money, use a point system. Give each child a set amount of points each week, depending on the age of child and the expectations you have of them. But, for simplicity sake… let’s pick 20 points as an example.
If you give your son 20 points each Sunday and tell him if he still has all 20 points the following Sunday, he can receive his full allowance. If he only ends the week with 10 points, then he only receives half the money. This way you only keep track of points, and still reward your child for good behavior.
Points can then be earned or taken away based on your family’s rules. An example could be: if a child doesn’t pick up her room… she loses five points. In turn, a child could then earn the points back by doing an extra chore like taking out the garbage. This balance of points combined with behavior teaches kids some important lessons about money and responsibility. Plus a few math skills to boot!