Hello all! I hope your new year is off to a great start! We have been slow in getting to our projects this month, as my husband was buried in musical rehearsals for a couple of weeks and things were just generally hectic. We have certainly discussed several projects that we plan to do in the coming months, so our projects have never been too far from my mind!
Last week, in an attempt to do something about the never-ending mess in our play room, I decided that Abby was old enough to do “chores” and to get an allowance. I told her about the idea, and she was strangely super excited about it. We discussed the idea very broadly one evening, and she got one of the workers at the kids club at the gym to help her start a list of chores. The next morning she rushed into our room bright and early wanting to discuss other “jobs” she could put on her chore list. The morning after that, after further discussions about all this, she rushed in bright and early to show me the handful of dollars that she already had, so I’d know just where she was starting from.
Anyway, we went to Office Depot and Abby picked out a pink dry erase board for us to make her chore chart on. (If you know Abby, you know that she loves all things pink.) We came up with the following chores: (1) feed the dog; (2) pick up and put away 15 items in the playroom; (3) pick up and put away 10 items in her bedroom; (4) pick up and put away 10 items in her closet; and (5) put away her laundry whenever I do it. If there aren’t that many items on the floor, she only has to pick up what is out. I have learned that saying “clean the playroom” is overwhelming to her. She freaks out and cries and nothing ever gets accomplished, but when I put a set number of items to pick up, it’s never a problem.
I told Abby that if she did all of the items every day (and put the clothes away when necessary), that she would get $4 at the end of the week. I asked her to pick out three piggy banks (yes, she has more than that). One would be for spending – she could spend that money on anything she wanted. Two dollars would go into the spending bank. One bank would be for saving ($1 would go in there), and the last one would be for giving (the other $1). I really wanted to impress on her early on that a percentage of her income should always go to saving and a percentage of her income should always go to giving.
(As a side note to the story I am about to tell, I have to give this background. I went to Texas Tech for undergrad, and they call me constantly to ask for donations. They call so often that I recognize the number, and I never answer. (Sorry, Texas Tech.) The other day, Abby and I were at the mall and my phone rang. I looked at the number, saw it was Texas Tech, and put my phone back in my purse. Abby asked who it was. I told her it was Texas Tech. What did they want? Oh, they want me to donate money. Why don’t you want to donate money? I just choose to donate my money to other places. Oh, okay.)
Anyway, back to the issue at hand… I told Abby about the three bank system, including the giving bank. She thought about it for a second and then piped up with, “Well, I am NOT donating my money to Texas Tech!” It was hilarious! I told her she could donate her money wherever she wanted, and once she had a little money accumulated, we could discuss some good choices. She thought about it and decided she wants to make some sort of donation related to the children’s hospital. We’ll see if that changes down the road when she actually has more than $1 in her giving bank!
Last week was our first week with the chore chart, and I have to say, our upstairs has never looked cleaner! She has raced around cleaning up toys in an effort to hit her mark every day. I sure wish I would have thought of this sooner! I look forward to the first time Abby gets to spend her “giving” money and make a difference that she really worked for.