Monday, April 25, 2016

Kids + Responsibility


Now that Molly is getting older, we've been working on teaching her more responsibility.  We started her on an allowance, gave her a routine/chore chart and she is now making dinner for us on Wednesday nights. In this post, I'll talk about allowance and the routine/chore chart. I'll save the cooking excitement for another day.


Earlier this year, we started Molly on a weekly allowance using the three jar approach. I read somewhere that you should give your kids the same amount of money as their age so Molly gets 4 dollars a week. She has to put one dollar in each of her three jars - Spend, Save & Give. She gets to choose which jar the last dollar goes into. I thought, for sure, she would always put it in spend but she doesn't. She puts most of her extra money into her save jar.


We don't have a defined way for her to use her Give jar but I have discovered that ways pop up throughout the year. At Easter, our church handed out empty plastic eggs and asked the kids to fill them with coins for two orphans the church has "adopted" from Africa. Molly quickly filled her eggs and even asked me for more money so she could add to them.  As for the spend, Molly has a little wallet that she puts her spend money into whenever we go somewhere that she wants to spend money. I make her handle the entire transaction alone (while hovering behind her) which has given her huge confidence. The allowance thing has already really helped the, "BUT I WANT IT MOM!" begging when we go to the store. I calmly say, "How much money do you have?" and if she really wants it and has enough, then she can buy that thing. If not, then it has to wait until she has enough. It's a hard lesson but a good one.


I've also made a command center outside the girl's bedroom to keep everyone in the family more organized. There is a weekly calendar, an area for notes and a chore chart area. The most important part of this is the Routine and Chore Chart that Molly and I made together. 


The morning and evening routine chart have drastically changed our mornings. While still rushed, there is definitely less yelling on my part. As a bonus, Scott now knows what needs to be done if I am gone and can help the girls through the routine. We let Molly lead the charge with prompting from us. It's made her feel more responsible and gives her something to be in charge of. 

The chore chart is more of a reminder. It reminds Molly to make her bed, brush her teeth and most importantly, be kind. If she fills the chart with stickers, then she gets something special at the end of the week - a date with Mom, a favorite movie, a bedtime pass where she gets to stay up a little later, etc. I've been using the Be So Kind section as a great reminder for Molly and it really works! She wants those stickers, badly. 

I've also implemented a weekly family meeting (something I learned from Positive Discipline) where we review the week and talk about any family issues that might be lingering. It's a quick meeting but then we are all on the same page and small issues don't become big issues. I highly recommend the family meeting. 

I'd love to hear your tips for raising responsible children and how you deal with teaching them about finances!
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