Most parent has lofty goals regarding implementing a chores and rewards system in their home. We all want to teach our kiddos responsibility and helpfulness. We also want to show our kids how to handle money.
I’m definitely no expert at this whole thing. But I’ve found a system that works pretty well for our home. I have three kids ages (ages 6, 5 and 3). And I desire to teach them responsibility and to prevent their falling victim to an entitlement mentality.
When I first started to teach my kids about chores, the two older were three and four. Rewarding them for hard work, I incorporated a marble jar system. For every good choice, helpful thing, or kind word they said? They received a marble in their mason jar. For every bad choice, disobedient action, or unkind word spoken? They removed a marble from their jar. If they hurt or hit their sibling? They had to take a marble out of their own jar and put it in their siblings jar. At the end of the day, we counted up the marbles. I rewarded them with a penny (pulling out the big bucks, I know!) for each marble they earned. Then they put their pennies in a clear jar, and watched their jar get fuller and fuller.
I found that using the marbles every day and a clear jar so they could see the level of the items inside was a necessary tool. It was tedious to count the marbles every single night, but it was also a great system to teach my kids about responsibility. They needed to see it immediately since they were still so young.
Now that my kids area a few years older, I’ve re-vamped our chores and responsibility system. My two oldest now have weekly chore charts. When the week is over, we count up the checks on their chart, and they’re given a nickel for each check mark. They put their coins into a clear jar and watch the jar fill. Once the jar is full of coins, we pour it out on the table and count the money. It takes a few months to fill up the jar. But once it is full, they’ve earned about $35 each.
After we count the kids’ money (which is a great math lesson in learning about coins and how to count specific denominations), we divided it up three ways. Ten percent gets set aside for church. Then, we split the remaining money in half between spending and saving. I’ve set up savings accounts for each of our kids, so a portion of their earned income goes straight into the bank. Then, I tell them how much they have left to spend. Sometimes we take a trip to the toy store to pick out a new item with their spending money. And sometimes, I let them keep it in the back of their mind until they spot something they want to buy while we’re out and about.
Setting up the chore chart took a little bit of creative thinking. I want to find ways to teach them responsibility and reward good behavior and decisions. Plus, I want to teach them other qualities like manners, physical and mental health, and opportunities to learn some life skills. I found a chore chart template on Pinterest, printed it off, and laminated it. It’s a weekly chart, so we erase the checks every seven days and start over. And the good thing is that I can change the chores or add new ones when needed.