Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Works for Me Wendesday - Backwards Edition

Today, Rocks In My Dryer is hosting a backwards edition of WFMW. That means we get to pose a question and ask for advice.

So here goes...

Allowance and/or chores.

What to do? When to do it? How? Do I tie the two in together, or make allowance and chores completely seperate entities? I need ideas, folks!!!

Kids are as follows:
Braeden, 10
Abbey, 6
Megan, 5
Shea, 3
Malakai, almost 1


  1. We have six kids ranging from 3-18. We started them young with what I called "wow" cards, they do something they get a card, they could exchange the cards for quarters or toys or whatever. Not important, just getting the concept that work = getting stuff. Important to make them out of different colors of paper so that everyone has their own color. They are quite valuable.

    When they hit school they go to points. We started with a notebook, but got high tech as the years went by and it now involves texting and what not, but the notebooks were used for me to assign chores and them to record chores they did. I would then 'grade' them and award points based on performance. These points could again be cashed in for stuff. We are very liberal with giving points, but we charge for tv time, computer time, gaming time, visiting friends, driving them some where. Again, just instilling that you help me and I'll help you.

    When they were young they got cards for everything they did, as they got older they were taught that some things are done just because you are part of a family. By the time they get to middle school they are keeping their rooms in order, they don't get points for cleaning their room, but they get fined for gross rooms. Again we give many points, but charge many. When they get older and are fighting over time, they can bid their points to have first dibs.

    Also, beginning in middle school they have to start buying their own clothes with their points. Teaching them to budget. There are many times when the older kids have a couple of hundred points, they've learned to save them for vacations and new clothes. We don't mind because they are actually doing their chores without complaint. They know what they need to do, when they need to do it and what the consequences are for not doing them. I never have to yell at them to do their chores, they just do them. Every once in awhile we have to do a performance review as to what exactly constitutes clean, but very few problems since we started this.

    They also don't bug me to have 47 friends over for a sleep over because they know that sleep overs cost points they want to use their points wisely.

    It's also highly customizable, like our big girl really liked spending time with friends but rarely hogged the computer time, so she had to pay less for her computer time because she would willingly share, but needed to have points for socializing purposes.

    Sorry it's so long, hope it helps

  2. I have 4 kiddos ages 3-11. To get an allowance, they have to do their chores daily with a cheerful heart. They get their allowance the last weekend of the month, and we chose to give $1 for each year (ex:11 yr. old gets $11 a month, 3 yr. old gets $3). My kids think this is a small fortune! LOL

    Here is a post I did with chore chart links:

    We use this family bank idea in our chore notebook:

    I think we might try this chore stick idea soon:

  3. I don't yet have children, but when I was growing up my parents gave me and my siblings money/allowance without having to do chores. When it comes time to raise my own kids I will probably do the opposite so that they learn you have to work for money; it doesn't just get handed to you. I think this pays off in so many ways. My husband is a much harder worker than I am, and his parents didn't freely give money as mine did; they made him work for it.

  4. I searched all over for the perfect system and couldn't find it because no one else has my family! I say, see what other people are doing and then adapt it for your family. Here's what we came up with, but we have young kids. You could adapt to something more sophisticated for the older kids. Good luck and kudos for teaching your kids responsibility!

  5. No suggetions on the allowance thing. We always seem to fall through on that one!

    Thanks for your prayers for my brother and sil - yes pregnancy has its negatives although combined with blessings.

    Our kitchen reno and addition plan has been in the works for three years now - we finally decided this spring to actually take action. I can't wait for the finished project!

  6. So, I have no ideas for you, since I only have a 1 year old. Thanks for coming by and offering some ideas for Grace's chewing up her bed. I was so sad when I read your suggestion. I don't want to think that it is time to move her to a toddler bed. I had not even thought of it. Isn't that silly. I don't ever want her to grow up. I guess I need to get over it! The only problem about moving her to her toddler bed, it that this crib IS her toddler bed. It converts. Uh- oh. So, who knows. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and offering your thoughts. I guess I need to start thinking about it. ~sigh...weep... weep~

  7. We have four kids and our chore&behavior reward system has changed many times. Recently I found a website where you can put the kids faces on money so they each have their own currency. It's working for us right now. We use this money for privelidges, small toys they can buy etc. They do have a weekly allowance as well because we believe they need to learn to budget money.

  8. Well, I have no experience with the allowance or chores yet- my hubby and I were just talking about our chore/allowance philosophy yesterday, though. :) I think they should be linked, and he doesn't. So that will be an interesting discussion in, oh, about five years. :)

    Just wanted to say thanks for your suggestions about getting my son to take a sippy! I really appreciate it, and will keep trying different things!

  9. We haven't done the allowance thing, but have started the chores thing.

    I will not pay based on regular chores. I feel like you do chores because you are part of our family. We give you an allowance because you are part of our family. (whenever we do allowance which won't be until MUCH MUCH later in life) Until then, they can ask for money. I don't think 7 year olds have a need for disposable money. I can teach them money skills without their buying ridiculous candy or cheap toys.

    whew. That being said, we have a chart with an AM and PM chores. Since my oldest is 5, we just do them together right now. I consider it job training ;)

    Godo luck! Have fun!

  10. We do a chore chart for our little man. I have a weekly grid and pictures of his chores. He picks the chores to cut out and glue on (he actually picks too many b/c he likes to cut and glue - I help whittle it down). I also do a chore chart for the 2 year old, but it rarely gets completed and he's a little too young to understand the concept.

    At the end of the week, I pay 5 cents for every day he completed the chore (he marks an X for every day he does the chore). He counts them up and writes the # on the side of each chore (practicing writing), then I'll show him how to add them up.

    I pay him in coins, so he can give the first 10% to church (or another charitable organization, if he chooses to do that later), another 10% goes straight into savings, and the rest is his to save or spend however he wants. He has separate jars for each, although I've seen piggy banks now that have 3 compartments. I do the math for the percentages, but eventually he'll have to figure the amounts out for himself before he gets paid (and I suppose I'll have to give him a raise then...).

    He has bought games, candy (since I only do that occasionally) and an archery set (!).

    I got the split idea from Dave Ramsay, and it works really well. I still call it allowance, but he knows he has to earn it.

  11. Hi again -

    this method looked good too:

    good luck!

  12. This is exactly what I do with my children and behaviour has changed for the better.

    I found that I was losing the notebook with the points balance in it or it was never around when I needed it. So I built some a web application application to allow me to track bonuses, penalties and allowances from my iPhone - and also allows my children to track their statements and the rewards on offer online.

    We've made it freely available as it may be of use to other parents using a points based allowance system.

    ..and yes it's really free, this isn't just a thinly disguised advert. If it's helpful to other parents then I'm happy.

    If you have an iPhone (or iPod touch) and you want to try a points system then take a look at

    If you don't have an iPhone then it's probably best to use a notebook (the paper kind) because carrying a laptop to manage points would just be silly.


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