Upon researching allowance for children, I came across some articles that talked about kids who were given allowance vs kids who were not given allowance - there didn't seem to be a noticeable difference between the two come adulthood. One set was not more responsible with their money than the other. In fact, both were rather irresponsible overall. (I wish I would have bookmarked the article so those who want to could read it, but I didn't.)
It surprised me quite a bit and made us think a lot about why that would be the case. Is there a missing piece here? I read a lot of people's opinions about whether or not to give allowance, and to keep a rather long story short, in the end, we felt like the missing piece was work. Not work, as in chores. Those are normal, daily responsibilities where they can contribute to the family. We don't feel like we should pay them for that. We felt like the missing piece was where they get hired at a job - a job specifically and solely for the purpose of earning money. We feel like by doing that they are learning what needs to be done if they want money - go out and do something to get it. We feel like if money isn't something that isn't given so easily, they'll feel more responsibility over it, and in turn, hopefully they'll have more desire to use it correctly because they worked so hard to get it (of course, we could be completely insane & wrong about that, but it makes sense to us!).
Thus we came up with a new idea that I'm sure isn't truly a new idea, but it was new to us. The idea is that we hire them for a job, pay them by the amount they do or length of time it takes. We feel like it teaches them about goals and how to achieve them.
So basically they have their normal jobs that they do around the house.
Here is TS folding his laundry (he does really good). I never fold their laundry and put it away. That's their jobs. Violet folds hers too:
Currently, the jobs we'll hire them for are jobs that are typically our own responsibilities. These include things like after they fold their own laundry, they can fold & put away any laundry we normally would fold. They get paid by the basket full. Also, there are times I offer to let one of them watch Rhys (in the playroom where it's totally baby proofed and safe) while I go do something else for a little bit (of course, I remain in the house!). Also, Emma sits in with Rhys at night to make sure she stays in her crib to go to sleep. But they can't do any of these extra jobs until they do their own jobs and their school work first. (My goal is to not nag my kids. I want them to motivate themselves.)
It's been a lot of fun! Here's our first success story:
Emma really, really, really wanted a specific doll. We talked about how much it was and how she can now work to earn that money to buy the doll. We explained to her how it all worked, and she responded very interested. She wanted me to give her jobs. She now eagerly folds my laundry and puts it away! hehe. I'm not good at folding laundry these days, so it's been a HUGE help. And, I don't feel guilty at all having her do it because she's making money doing it.
Here are some piles showing her laundry folding skills (we've yet to ever notice much struggle with her lack of thumbs, which if you're new here, it's due to FA. She does awesome with everything):
She folded Ella's clothes...
Of course, her own clothes...
We'll be making a more official "Hire" list. Maybe something along the lines of a job board where they can go job hunting and choose the job they want. Then we'll have a little contract that we write out our agreement (how much they get paid per amount of whatever they are doing). It'll help us keep track of everything they do too. It shouldn't be too complicated since the jobs will repeat a lot so I can make set ones. It'll help keep track of it easier too.
Emma has been working for the past several weeks (can't remember how long) to save up about $25-30 to buy this doll. Today she finally had enough, so we went to the store to get it. Then we discovered they don't freakin have the doll anymore! I wasn't expecting that.
So, here's the replacement doll:
And, then she changed her mind ten minutes later and went with this. It was a whole $8. She loves it.
Anyway, just wanted to share. I find it a fun way to do allowance & to get kids to eagerly do chores that I don't want to be doing anyway. hehe. In the future we would like them to be responsible for buying their own clothes, and whatever else they want, so we'll have to come up with ways for them to make larger amounts of money. But, again, it's been super awesome having Emma help...and having her excited about what she's doing and achieving her goals.