Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Parenting is one dang hard job.  I consider myself a decent parent.  Far from perfect, but I think I've done a fairly good job so far.  My kids usually remember their please's and thank-you's, are generally kind to others, and do well in school for the most part.  I try and try every day to shape them into people that will be successful, and be happy.  I want them to be good people.  I don't think I've messed them up too bad yet.  But there is still time.

One area that I have not done a very good job in is making them responsible for cleaning up after themselves and helping more around the house.  If you remember back to My Post About Dreaming Of A Clean House you will know that I've talked about this before.  Thank you all for your suggestions back then.  Unfortunately I haven't grown that OCD gene yet that makes me have a spotless house.  I was hoping for a miracle, but no such luck.

However, I recently found a post on Pinterest that gave me a great idea.

I haven't been a fan of paying my kids to do chores.  But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

The kids are a little older now, and money talks when you want electronics.

So, we went around the house together and came up with a list of chores that could be their responsiblity.  I assigned what I thought was a fair dollar amount for the job being done, and a specific rule sheet that spelled out what I expected from them if they were going to earn the money for the job.  (I have to be very specific with them, because they will always try to wiggle their way around the rules.)  A little artistic work, a trip through the laminator, some magnets from the craft store, and we have ourselves a new little system.

There are a total of 13 chores with assigned dollar amounts.  Sunday marks the end/beginning of our week.  They must choose 4 chores to complete before the next Sunday.  They can choose more if they would like to earn more money, but they don't have to pick any more than 4.  When they choose their chores, they go on the fridge under their name.

After the chore is completed, the card goes in their jar that they hand painted.

On Sunday, I go to the jar, empty it out, and pay for the work they have done.  Then the process starts over again.  It is working great so far!  It is still a work in progress, though we are now on our third week, and I'm really impressed with how well they have been doing.  We've had to tweak a few rules as we go, and I'm sure there will be more changes still.  For example, they aren't allowed to start most of their chores until Wednesday, so they can't clean off the junk on the stairs on Sunday and then again on Monday before the stairs have accumulated any additional crap.  Also, (and this one is brilliant, if I do say so myself) the vacuuming must be done after the miscellaneous junk is cleaned off the floor in the entry and the living room.  So if Morgan has vacuuming, and Andy is supposed to clean off the floor, she can't vacuum the 3 square foot area that is open, she has to bug Andy to do his chore first so she can do her chore and earn her money.  I haven't figured out if there is a consequence yet for not completing 4 chores in a week.  So far, I haven't had to.

I'm not sure how long this will last, but I'm loving it so far, and I think the kids are too.  It's also teaching them the value of money more, because I've started making them pay for more of their own luxury items.  They are thinking twice before buying silly things that aren't needed.  I hope they stay excited about it!  The house is looking much better, and the chores are easier each week.  Yay!

One last picture to share of the boy peeking over the wall in his (very crooked!) new glasses.  The jars sit up here above my kitchen cabinets, right next to my (very empty!) wine racks.  Good thing wine bottling is in 6 weeks!

Thank you Pinterest, for the great idea!!




  1. OH! This is genius and I love Andy's new glasses. Lauren has a chore chart and on the weekend has a list of things she has to accomplish. At least now the kids are still excited by quarters!!! : )

    1. Thanks! Yeah, you need to take advantage of the whole quarter thing while you still can. Unfortunately I don't think my kids would lift their feet for me to vacuum under them for a quarter these days! Thanks for sharing my post on MMP's facebook! :)