Confession: We’ve been putting it off.
It’s a large undertaking as far as parenting goes. You want to do it right. You need to do it right. There are some pretty serious implications and some not-so-great habits and attitudes about money that can ruin your child’s adulthood. And there are as many different ways to do it as there are parental units.
We recently took the plunge and implemented a chore chart system. We know it’s probably way past time to start it with our five year-old, but my need to pick Just. The. Right. Chart. System. kind of held us up. You see, I’m a bit of a rule follower. And if I start a system, then I stick to that system. Failure to do so results in complete failure. And if I fail, well, there may be some self-loathing involved.
Needless to say, the pressure has been on.
Thanks to a well-timed post from Mary at Giving Up On Perfect, I found a system that piqued my interest over at Simple Mom. It’s a basic chart that you can customize with your own chore list. The child gets a sticker for each task completed. At the end of each week, he/she is paid a nickel per sticker.
We are a few days into the system and it seems to be working well. C loves getting to fill in the chart with stickers and is taking pride in some of the new ways he is able to be helpful around the house.
While he is eager to earn some dough for spending, T and I are eager to teach him about saving and giving. We will be using a jar system much like this one, but since C doesn’t understand percentages at this point, I’m not sure how to direct him as far as how much to save and how much to give. I don’t really want to mandate amounts or percentages, since I really want to him to develop a heart for giving, not an auto-response to a mandate. However, I fear that this will yield a couple of scant jars.
Dude loves him a Lego block.
And at this point, he loves it more than he loves the warm fuzzy feeling he gets from helping others or from securing his future with a financial cushion.
So, how do you handle allowance at your house? Do you require your child to save or give a certain amount? Is is merely a suggestion?