Thursday, February 7, 2013

Allowance Day

I have decided that it is time to get the younger kids to help out more at home.  My goal is to at least get them to pick up their own toys...and not poop in their pants.  I would say that is another story, but I have actually included "going pee and poop in the potty" as one of the daily chores for the boys on their new chore charts.  Unfortunately, I did not think that one through...the first time they use the potty they will happily check off that chore...and then later in the day have an "accident."  I use the term "accident" loosely, as they are now four years old and perfectly capable of making it to the bathroom on time.  As you can probably tell...I'm getting very frustrated with the potty-training thing, envisioning my boys accepting their high school diplomas in Pull-Ups, and have succumbed to pure bribery in an attempt to put an end to accidents.  I am literally paying them to poop in the proper place.

But I digress.  Back to chores and an actual allowance.  I've gone back and forth on the idea of allowance for years.  On one hand, I understand the benefit of teaching children to earn and spend their own money.  On the other hand, I also think that they should be expected to help out and be a part of the family...without the need to pay them to do so.  As you can probably guess, that hasn't been working so well.  Chores rarely get done...and when they do, it's only part way and often times somehow manages to make more work for me in the end.  I'm determined to change things...I have five children...I should be able to expect some help around the house, even if it means I have to pay them, right?

Irelynn is very excited.  She helped me create the chore charts.  She does all of her chores and then asks if she can do more.

Connor and Owen are excited, too.  The like to color all over their chore charts and sometimes erase Irelynn's chores.  They like brushing their teeth (one of the chores.)  They do not like picking up their toys.  This is usually a battle as one won't do it if the other one isn't "doing his part."  They pick up one toy and want to go mark it off on the chart.  And then go brush their teeth again.

Somehow we muddled through this week...and though they didn't do everything perfectly, I decided to award all of the kids allowance just to give them incentive to do better next week with the warning that NEXT time they need to actually do all of their chores.  I gave Irelynn two dollars.  She proudly carried them around, waving them in the air.  Then she lost one.

The boys wanted to know how much a dollar was (they each received one.)  Then Connor wanted to know who the funny-looking guy was on his dollar.  I finally told them to go put their money someplace safe.  Then Owen came up to me, crying.

"Connor ripped my dollar!"  He held up two pieces of a one dollar bill.

Connor just grinned.  I then made him give Owen HIS dollar.

That evening I put to bed two unhappy kids.  Owen was fine, because in the end, he had a dollar.  I didn't have the heart to explain to him that his dollar was not, in fact, going to buy another Wii game.  Connor was crying because he felt that ripping Owen's dollar was not just cause for taking away his dollar.  Irelynn was devastated that she worked so hard for her money and then lost it. (We did find it the next day, so all is currently well.)

I obviously have a lot to learn about children and allowance.  This was an epic Mommy Fail.  And I don't even have a clean house to show for it.  Perhaps I should start more simple by keeping envelopes or jars or something for each kid that I keep track of...or just forget it and give the boys chocolate coins for allowance.    

I wonder if I can still spend it if I tape the dollar back together.  If so, it is totally going into the beer fund.

1 comment:

  1. Definitely try the jars... or piggy banks that they can't open haha.