I have something to share with you.
Does this sound familiar?
Daughter: Mom, I want a new beanie boo and a new Barbie doll.
Mom: OK. Keep saving your allowance and we can buy something soon.
Daughter: I don’t want to use my money, we can use yours. You make more than me.
Mom: Your allowance and my paycheck are the same thing. I get paid when I do my job. You get paid when you do yours.
We have chores in our house. If you do not do your chores, you do not get allowance. It is that simple. I had bought a choreboard a while back but it never really worked so I decided to make my own from a whiteboard and a bunch of stickers. It now hangs in my daughter’s playroom off the kitchen and is easy for her to update after chores are done. At the top we list non-chore items, starting with show respect. At the bottom are her actual “chores”.
I was chatting with a friend recently who was ready to try again with a choreboard and asked how we do it in our house? We are not the experts but the plan we now have seems to work. The top items are nonnegotiable. If you don’t do these things, no allowance. Behavior is always first. Show respect, say please and thank you, stop whining, etc. Then, every day my daughter has three chores. At the end of the day, she gets to put a smiley face magnet on the board if they are completed(super easy to make- sticker, magnet, done). If that chore does not get done, she gets an “X”. She must make her bed, she must feed the dog in the AM and PM and she must help set the table for dinner and clear her plate at the end of each meal. At the end of the week, she gets $3. For every “X“, we take away 25¢. How did we pick $3? Well, $5/week seemed two much for a 6 yr old and $2/week didn’t seem like enough incentive to get things done. This way as she gets older, she has room to “earn” more and as a 6 yr old, $12/month gives her the ability to buy one or two items of her choice. I must say it is a great feeling for both me and her when we walk into the American Girl store and she is able to buy an outfit for her doll with her own money!