The whining is always about their room.
yay. for. me.
And you know what else? Here's the kind of whining I get to deal with: "Mommmmmmmy! You always make us clean stuff that Daddy doesn't make us clean!"
I'm not above paying off my kids so that they will shut the heck up.
I could go on and on about how chore charts teach kids responsibility and money management. blah blah blah.
Here's my real life: We started chore charts in our house so I wouldn't have to listen to the whining anymore. And it's been a WHOLE WEEK of using the chore charts. And guess how much whining I've heard about them cleaning their room. Just guess!
Zero point zero zero.
YAY FOR ME!
I also had another reason for Peyton and Ella to start earning some cash. They are always asking for stuff. And by stuff I don't mean food and water, I give that to them for free because I'm a super mom. I'm talking about fun kid stuff. I swear, we could go to the most boring store in all the land, an automotive parts store, say, and those two kids would be able to find something they wanted. They ask and they ask and they ask. Usually I say No. Every great once in a while I say Yes.
And mostly I tell them that they need to put in on their Christmas or Birthday lists. But really, that last part is mean because Peyton's birthday is December 17th and Ella's is January 9th. So I can get away with that kind of talk a couple of months before Christmas, but that's it. I can't pull that kind of crap in February because it's just cruel.
So, now, when they ask for stuff 50 times a day, I can airily respond 50 times a day with, "Well, do you have enough money to buy it?"
And if they say Yes, then I'll yell, "Heck yeah, get it!"
And if they say No, then I'll try my best not to yell, "Well, it sucks to be you, kid!"
"Now you know what it feels like when I can't buy myself a new pair of fancy boots because I've been buying you two ALL THAT DANG FOOD AND WATER!"
Anyway. Here's what I did:
I went to Michaels and got two scrapbook frames and then I spray painted them white.
I let Ella and Peyton pick out their own fancy scrapbook paper. I used that as the background of their charts. I printed up the charts that I made, backed them with coordinating paper, and glue-sticked it all together. I used a glue stick because I wanted to be able to easily replace their charts as I change the chores and the rates of pay. I stuck the charts in the frames and hung them up - done!
The hardest part of this whole project was deciding what chores I wanted on the charts. I also threw a little math in there, too. I wanted Peyton and Ella to see how much money they were making for each chore and how it all added up (multiplied up, really). For example, they are expected to clean their room 7 days a week for 5 cents each time, which earns them 35 cents a week. They will each clean the dining room table 2 times a week for 5 cents each time, which earns them 10 cents a week. They get the same amount for cleaning their bathroom sink and counter because they work on that together, so it's not too hard.
All their chores add up to $1 a week. Too cheap, you might think? When I told Peyton and Ella they would earn $1 a week, Peyton's eyes lit up and he started jumping up and down, "Chores! Chores! Chores! Chores!" and Ella whispered, "A WHOLE DOLLAR?!?!" like it was some kind of magic.
I'm awesome like that.
The Parent's Choice is for bonus money and it's optional. Peyton, Ella, and I had an entire discussion about it. If they want to earn extra money, they can ask if there's anything extra they can do. I might have an extra chore for them to do, I might not.
Also, I might ask them to do an extra chore. Sometimes I will let them earn a check mark for it. Sometimes they will just have to do it for nothin'. I didn't want them thinking that they would get money for everything I ask them to do around here. I didn't want any of that, "What am I gonna get if I do this?" nonsense. Gotta nip that rubbish in the bud. Before it even starts.
Some things didn't even make it on the board because they messed with my magic $1 weekly total. Like laundry. Peyton and Ella always put their own laundry away. I fold it, stack it all nicely on my bed, sorted by theme, and they put it away. And they still have to, they just don't get paid for it. They like putting it away, anyway. They've been doing it for way over a year and they still think it's super fun. They're so weird! Every single time they make it into a race to see who can put away all their laundry first. It's adorable.
I hung the charts in the kitchen under my kitchen memo board and next to the refrigerator. I bought them some brand spanking new expo markers that I put in a magnetized holder on the fridge. Peyton and Ella LOVE using dry erase markers. Doesn't every kid?
I should have just ditched the payment plan and told them that every time they do a chore they would be ALLOWED to write a check mark on the glass of their charts with the magical dry erase marker. And if they complete all their chores they would be ALLOWED to magically erase the marks with a paper towel at the end of the week.
School hasn't started here yet, so they can't do the Empty Backpack / Lunchbag chore. And we're in the process of painting and staining our dining room table, so that's out, too. They've decided to make up the missing chore money with doing a bunch of Parent's Choice chores this week.
I love the charts.
Peyton and Ella love their charts.
And, wait, what's that sound? Ah, yes, it's the sound of a room being cleaned with the glorious absence of whining.