We tend to think that we have this whole parenting thing down to a science and then WHAM! Out of nowhere, it seems, our little one will throw a major curve ball that leaves our heads spinning. I’m talking chores, charts, allowances and a super easy diy project that will maybe help or at least inspire how you teach that big R word to your kids. (you know what I’m talking about – responsibility!)
Disclaimer – I’m going (almost) unedited in this post. I’m writing what comes to my mind and more so, what’s in my heart. This post in no way represents how you should teach YOUR kids how to earn/handle money and chores, it’s just one way that we’re trying it out in our own home. Tell you what, we’ll see how well it goes and I’ll post an update on it in the future, sound fair?
Okay, quick recap. In my home, I have an almost seven-year-old, a three-year-old and a six-month-old. All boys. You would think after being a parent for over six years that you would have an idea, when the day came, as to how you would handle the task of chores and how your child would or would not necessarily be rewarded for them. Let me tell you, babies and toddlers I can do (I may not be the best at it, but at least I have some experience now) but this whole big kid thing? It’s brand new territory and definitely harder than I ever thought.
Over many conversations and discussions, my husband and I decided to not “give” an allowance. Sorry, not sorry, but we don’t think our kiddo should get money just for living and existing in our home. Growing up, I had chores and responsibilities regardless of receiving an allowance and I want to pass along those same type of work ethic values to my kids too. Specifically talking about my big kid – he has several chores and things he does to help around the house – because it’s good for him. However, like many kids, he has a desire to earn money in order to save up for certain things he wants.
So I decided to make a “Work for Hire” board. It includes things that are outside of his normal responsibilities and tasks that I think would be considered age-appropriate. The good thing about this board is I can change out the jobs as he grows. Send me feedback! Do you think these chores are too easy/hard for a 1st grader? I tried to include some that even my 3yo could do.
So here’s what you’ll need: a cork board (got mine at IKEA), colorful paper (optional), mini envelopes (find ’em at your local craft store), colorful markers (I used Sharpies), push pins and clear tape.
1. Since the mini envelopes I found were brown, I decided to first tape down some colorful paper as the backdrop. But if you find colorful envelopes instead, you could probably skip this step if you wanted.
2. I wrote out each of the jobs in two different colored Sharpies along with a corresponding amount on the flap of each envelope. Don’t forget to actually fill the envelopes!
3. Using push pins, I spaced out the envelopes evenly on the board. On mine I was able to fit three across and four down.
4. And of course I needed a sign! I hand-cut a solid piece of paper and then free-handed my title. You could get fancy if you wanted and use your Cricut or Silhouette, but I decided to keep it simple and easy.
5. Last but not least – don’t forget to put the money in (or don’t, your choice!)
Not to get all philosophical or anything, but at the end of the day, when I think we’re really teaching our kids something, it seems that I tend to learn more from them instead. But kids need boundaries too. Something that I’ve learned is that it’s okay to try things out, it’s okay to mess things up because guess what? You will, I know I sure do. And that’s okay too. You don’t have to be a perfect parent and it’s okay to learn as you go – that’s how you grow.