Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chores and Allowances

When La Nina turned six in March, we decided it was time to start allowances.  The problem was the girls really didn't have any chores.  Oh sure, they picked up her toys from time to time,  put away their backpacks when the mood struck, but nothing was really set in stone.  And I am opposed to giving kids money for looking cute.

After much research and a little discussion, the Dad and I decided that each girl would begin receiving a weekly allowance and would be assigned some chores.  They needed to make their beds, set and clear their dishes from the table and feed the dog.  Seemed easy enough, except that it ended up inequitable.  See, La Nina conned the Magster into doing all the work, but always showed up on Fridays (payday) with her hand extended.  And because the Magster is younger, she was getting less money.

A friend of mine and I were yakking about allowances the other day and she had a similar problem so she devised a brilliant method for leveling the playing field.  Each child is assigned specific tasks that are listed on a weekly grid.  Whenever a chore is complete, the kids gets an "X" on the grid.  On Friday, count the "x"s and we pay a quarter a chore completed.   Each kid is rewarded based on effort, I don't have to complain if they don't complete the chore and they are responsible for their earnings...completely responsible.  

To keep things fair, La Nina has more chores than the Magster--she's older and should have the opportunity to earn more.  We've also added a sharing clause:  if either child helps the other then both kids are paid to promote team work. 

The result:  In five days, beds are made, my dishwasher is emptied every morning,  the table is set and cleared, backpacks are put away and while the girls have chosen not to do every chore, it's okay.   They'll learn if they want the big bucks, it takes some effort.  Incidentally, with fewer chores, at this point in the week, Maggie's earning the same money as big sis.  That may really rub her sister wrong on Friday, but such is life.  


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