Who asks to do chores?!

About a month before Christopher’s 5th birthday, he asked if he could do chores. Umm…yeah! Sure! I told him we could start chores once he turned 5. I needed some time to think about what chores he could do, whether we’d pay him allowance, how much the allowance should be, etc. I stalled by saying I needed to talk to Daddy about it.

He asked a couple more times, so Jim and I did talk about it. I’ve been wanting to give him some responsibilities for a while. I thought it could help him be kinder. I thought it would make him feel more grown up. And I knew he’d love getting money even though he was asking for stickers and prizes for doing chores. I want to teach him about money. If he’s responsible for buying the toys he wants (or at least paying something toward them), then maybe he’ll be a little more appreciative and a little less greedy.

So Jim and I agreed on $2 per week. My suggestion. And I decided that he’d get the full allowance each week as long as he did a sufficient amount of chores. I didn’t want to tie a certain amount to each chore. It would be too much work, and that’s not really how the real world works anyway. In our jobs, we get paid a salary for our week’s worth of work and some weeks are more productive than others.

I saw several chore chart images on Google with different categories of chores, and I really liked that idea. I’ve been trying to get Christopher to be more independent, so I thought adding some “care of myself” chores would make him more interested in doing personal hygiene things for himself. And let’s be honest…I have a really hard time remembering to give him a bath once or twice a week, so I am hoping that making that a chore will help him remind me!

Yes, this image is correct. He didn’t have a bath at all last week. He did go swimming. That kind of counts, right?

“Care of my things” seemed like the obvious category. I didn’t want to make him clean his room or even his playroom. I never understood having to keep your personal space clean. If you like it messy, it should be able to be messy. And he’s a pretty organized kid anyway. I did give him “pick up my toys” because I don’t like when they’re lying all over the house, but he hasn’t really had to do this chore very often.

He’s doing a great job with charging the iPad since I moved the plug into his bathroom. He uses a tooth brushing app from Dental Associates called Heroes of Hygiene. Get it for your kids! Seriously. So after he brushes his teeth at night, it’s easy to plug in the iPad right there in the bathroom. And it’s there in the morning, so he can start watching shows while we keep sleeping. No more waking me up to get it from downstairs because it’s too scary. Yay for mommy’s sleep!

Putting clothes in the hamper and carrying dishes to the sink (I thought the dishwasher would be too hard at this age) have been working well. And he’s even put away the silverware from the dishwasher every time it’s run in the last few weeks. I pull it all out and put it on the counter above the silverware drawer, and then he sorts it and puts it away. It doesn’t really help me all that much, but it’s preparation for unloading the full dishwasher as soon as he’s tall enough to reach the top cabinets. Maybe by age 10? Ha.

His favorite chore, and the one he even cried over when Jim accidentally did it for him, is bringing in the garbage cans on Wednesday afternoons. He would love to take them to the curb in the morning as well, but they’re too heavy when they’re full.

We’re on week 3 and the enthusiasm hasn’t worn off quite yet. I hope it lasts! I am quite liking Christopher helping out a bit more around the house.

Do your kids do chores? What are they? Do they earn an allowance? How much?

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