This would be another fairly regular question I am asked. A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have been able to give a definitive answer because I hadn’t quite found a comfortable place to sit with regards to chores and money. The past year or so things have settled into a really helpful and healthy way of managing these two vital things, which have taught my children an enormous amount about money, the relative importance of certain things and actually how hard is it to earn enough money to live as they want to live 😉
Our children do basic chores from the age of about three. These include chores surrounding general living: cooking, cleaning, washing up, drying up, etc. They are expected to keep their bedrooms clean, but I am not brilliant at checking them. However I give them time once a week to do a thorough clean, dust and vacuum, after which I always check. This means their rooms never get too messy 🙂
Our Chore Rota – Morning
Our chore rota goes like this:
We have one older child do the kitchen with the little ones helping. They wash up, dry up, put away, clear and wipe the sides, flap the rug outside, sweep the floor, take the rubbish bag outside and mop the floor.
The second older child takes control of the living room. They do a general tidy, clear and wipe down the table, vacuum and mop the dining room area.
The third older child takes control of the hallway, animals and upstairs loo. They wipe down all the surfaces in the loo – loo, sink, mirror, and empty the bin. They also need to feed and water the dog, collect eggs, let out chickens and feed and water them (this no longer happens as a couple of days ago all our chickens were killed by a fox 😦 ). They also clear the hallway, take anything on the stairs up to whatever bedroom they belong to and vacuum the hallway and my study area.
I do the chores in the bathroom. I wipe down all the sides, bleach the toilet, put the wet laundry in the dryer and the dirty laundry in the washing machine, I hang up all towels and do a general clean. I also sweep and mop the floor.
Each day we switch around (apart from the littles who are currently learning the kitchen skills and will remain there until they could do it independently). It sounds a lot but we have done it in a similar way for years and it probably takes each of us less than half and hour.
Our Chore Rota – Evening
In the evening, T tidies the living room, wipes down the table and makes sure everything is lovely so we can all enjoy relaxing there later on in the evening. The twin girls clear the kitchen from dinner, including the washing up and drying up. Gary baths the little two whilst I go for a walk. Yes, I know. I get it easy in the evenings 🙂
We put aside three hours a week for paid chores. The children understand that this is their work time, and although they are being paid for it, I hear more moans about this work than I do about their normal chores! Often it is outdoors. I have three children who love to work out doors, one who says she hates it but who once outside actually enjoys herself and generally works hard …and then there is L who absolutely, one hundred percent hates working outside. She will offer to do the most revolting jobs inside in order to get out of going outside. That said, she will generally get on with the outside work with a good attitude once she gets going.
What do they get paid?
The children get £5 per hour, which I keep reminding them is more than the minimum wage for 16-18 year olds in the UK and they are only 13 and 14. This means they have the potential to earn £15 per week. We will only pay this money if they work hard, with a good attitude and do what we need them to do to a good standard. Their pay gets docked if they display anything less than we request. This is important. My goal for giving them money for doing a job is not just to give them a means to be financially afloat. It is to train them to become good workers, workers who understand the need for a good attitude and a good work ethic. We have been known to refuse to pay a child if they come to the chores with a complaining attitude 🙂
We also reduce what they get paid if they do their regular chores sloppily, or if they do not put their kindles away after using them.
Tomorrow I will share why we pay them so much and how we teach them to be financially savvy through this paid work.