Here, we are determining what jobs the boys can do in order to earn some pocket money each week. The older they get it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get them involved or even remotely interested! Do your children help out around the house? What sort of jobs do you get them doing?
Giving kids chores has many benefits, chores help develop your child’s character. Research indicates children who have chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, are better at dealing with frustration and able to deal with deferred gratification. It also prepares your children for later life, not being responsible for chores can limit children’s ability to function at age appropriate levels, for instance, a 5 year old going to nursery being one of the only students unsure of how to button a coat, a 7 year old being at school not being able to eat lunch properly as being unsure of how to use a knife and fork, or even an older child going to university and unable to do their own laundry! By expecting children to complete self – care tasks and to help with household jobs we are preparing children to be able to look after themselves later on in life, being mentally stronger and more independant.
Doing chores and holding them accountable for them makes the child begin to see themselves as an important contributor into the family, it can increase a sense of themselves and actually make them more responsible! They will feel more capable at having achieved their obligations and make them feel they can do more.
Actually getting your children to do chores is a whole new ball game, met with resistance, excuses and even flat out refusal! Young children and teens lack judgement, meaning they don’t actually realise how much work is involved in running and maintaining a household. They are impulsive, which means they want what they want when they want it, and completing boring jobs isn’t part of what they want to be doing, also they are self-absorbed, they do not naturally consider the needs of others just yet and are mainly only concerned about themselves. Try to be a good role model when it comes to chores, don’t moan and put off your own jobs, make it ‘just one of those things that must be done’ and your children will eventually follow suit, you don’t want to unintentionally send the message that chores are utterly boring and should be avoided at all costs! Try to start with small tasks giving them a sense of achievement. The size of the task does not matter; the responsibility associated with it does.
So when setting chores take into account your child’s abilities and interests, what life skills your children need to learn, and which jobs in the house you would like completing. Make sure you review the chores they are doing regularly to ensure it still fits with the above points. Get the children involved in choosing chores, they are much more likely to complete them if they have had some input. Also will you give pocket money or will they earn privileges for completed chores? This is also personal preference with no right or wrong answer, just what feels right for your family.
Well here we pay for completed chores, the boys love all things electrical and we’re a bit mad on computer games! Usually we’re saving up for new ones, trying to unlock achievements or saving for a special toy. We haven’t quite mastered the knack of saving yet (that’s a whole new blog post!), but we have got some tools in place to encourage them to get involved.
Firstly, I have a chore chart on my noticeboard for each of them to see what is expected of them, how much it’s worth and so that they can fill it in when they’re done, you can find our chore charts here. Also, we have a fabulous system we use with a company called Go Henry. Go Henry is a prepaid Visa Card system for your kids which come with the support of some fantastic apps and tools. We’ve been really enjoying Go Henry, it makes the kids feel special that they have their own card, and you get a breakdown of every single transaction and you can completely customise how it’s used, it really is brilliant! If you would like to see what they do, and get a special offer of a free card and a month free take a look here!
So what sort of jobs can the kids do? It’s all personal choice, for instance, I wouldn’t have mine clean the toilet, nothing wrong with it and plenty of people do, but just my personal preference I would prefer to do it myself. Mine must keep their rooms tidy, make their bed, do homework, read, sort the recycling and organise their laundry. Setting the table and washing up are also going to be added for my lot as they are now tall enough to be able to see into the sink!!
I get a lot of refusals and excuses, lot’s of I’ll do it in a bits, and a lot of trying to wriggle out of it completely! For refusal they obviously don’t get paid, but I can also remove privileges to ensure the tasks are completed. It’s tough and you honestly do feel like you’re continuously battling and nagging them and that it can’t possibly be worth it, and the kids won’t thank you for it in the short term, but persevere and you will benefit your children massively, making them strong, independant, responsible adults!