Monday, October 15, 2007

Pay Day

No one can deny that payday is their favorite day of the week. But what happens when you are no longer the employee –but rather the boss? And just how much do you pay these micro employees? And just what do their job descriptions entail?

At Casa Del Whirlwind, pay is at an all time low. All work is done on a volunteer basis. So far, there has been no mutiny, but I feel those days are numbered. With a growing affection to all things Pokémon and knowledge gleamed from communicating with peers*, it's only a matter of time before they demand an allowence.

So far, it’s been accepted that it is their job to help set the table, clear their plates when finished, help make their beds and pick up toys when they are finished playing with them. Einey has even started helping with the laundry, if she’s with me, she’ll try to mate socks and fold the washcloths. Moe feels it’s her duty to clean the lint filter and will fight for that job. All three of the girls take turns making sure the dog is fed and has clean water. Come time to feed the lizard, they take turns going to the pet store and “paying” for the crickets and then carrying them back home. Other than that, their other responsibilities are finishing their homework when they come home from school and being nice to their siblings. Now granted, not every task is carried out without complaint, but they usually get most of it done.

During the summer months, they help outside by raking, planting, and carrying sticks to new locations. They pull weeds and pick the vegetables. None of this is required of them, they just think its fun to help. When does it go from being fun to being a chore?

Apparently I should be paying them for these tasks. Or so it's been mentioned. Just when should they get an allowance? And for what tasks? Is it too much to just expect them to do basic household help without expecting money for it? Or should I have to pay them to do things that should be their responsibility to do in the first place?

*Daughter goes to a private school where not only is it apparent that many kids get allowances, but also the Tooth Fairy leaves $5.00 per tooth.


Kate said...

We have dime jars here. (Note: that "m" in "dime" is really crucial, and without it the whole concept changes.)

Anyway, on the fridge is a list of potential chores, from emptying the dishwasher to sorting the recycling and so on... there are about 12-15 choices. Each time either kid does a chore, they take a dime from the central jar and put it in their own. When we get up to 10 (or 20, or 30... whenever I remember) then I'll trade for dollars and we'll either go shopping or just wait for the ice cream truck to rear its ugly head.

My daughter is 7 now, I think we started her on structured (read: paid-for) chores when she was 5. My son is 3, and has a serious case of me-too, so he's already getting his allowance. He does maybe 1-2 chores a day, she does more like 3-4.

I went through the same struggle that you did, about expecting them to just do stuff around the house and hey no fair nobody pays ME. But I also went a little insane every time they asked for another cheap plastic toy or overpriced vaguely-ice-cream-like product from the ice cream truck, so this way they could save up and earn it. A little sanity all around.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

TWO DOLLARS A TOOTH!!!! Do you hear me parents!?!? TWO DOLLARS!!! All these "Five dollars a tooth" or, worse, "Money AND toy" parents are really screwing things up for those of us towing the 'lowballing' line.

OK, what was the question? Oh, yes, allowance. $1 a week. No strings attached. I expect help but am willing to negotiate the tasks. The allowance is not held hostage if they have a bad week. In fact, I don't really tie the allowance into 'chores' at all. For me, it is about making sure they have some spending money of their own and can learn how to use it. (here is the truth though---I haven't put a dime into their allowance bags since May (MAY!!!) and now must count the weeks and pay them soon. That is going to suck for me and really ruins my whole 'purpose' for having an allowance in the first place!)

Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

Even though she is only 3, we have started using a reward chart for my daughter--she gets a sticker for all the things she does on the list (which includes things like cleaning up her toys and things like finishing her dinner). Then we add up her points and keep track of how many she has, and eventually when she is older, we plan on letting her trade in her points for a reward. A website we have talked about using, but haven't really decided yet is Check it out, maybe it will be the right solution for you!

Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

Also that sounded weird--she could trade in her points now (she doesn't have to wait until she's older and trade in her 154348 stickers for a car or something)--but for now she is satisfied with just having the stickers. So when she is old enough that the stickers aren't reward enough, we will let her trade them in for a reward (and will have a set # of stickers required for specific rewards). Does that make sense? I hope so.