Spoiler alert!! We don’t pay our kids for chores!
Yes, EVEN on a homestead where our kids undoubtedly do more chores than the average kid in 2019. Why??
Here’s the deal. We’re a family – we work together to make this family, home, and homestead work well. As parents, my husband and I believe it’s our job to teach our kids a sense of responsibility and work ethic. Which, by the way is a HUGE reason we’ve chosen this lifestyle – because there is hard work ingrained in our everyday. We feel that’s so vital to raising a child with good character in today’s world.
On top of that, news flash…
In life you don’t get paid for “chores”.
As an adult, you have to do daily chores only for the satisfaction of getting it done – there’s no chores fairy giving you cash for doing the dishes or making your bed when you’re 30 – trust me, I’ve looked into it. We feel we’d be doing our children a disservice, and ultimately creating a sense of entitlement by paying them to do these basic daily necessities.
Here’s a small example of what our kids (ages 7 and 9) are expected to contribute – without pay…
- feed and water ALL animals (cats, dog, and chickens)
- load/unload the dishwasher
- set/clear the table
- clean their room and make their beds
- clean their bathroom (even the toilet)
- Start a load of laundry and move it to the dryer (9 year old)
- sort, fold, and put away their own laundry
- pick up the living room
- clean windows
My 4 year old’s chores are…
- folding his clothes (with help)
- putting away silverware
- picking up trash/toys/books
- making his bed
- clearing the table
- dusting/cleaning windows (with help)
BUT WAIT A SEC…what about teaching our kids about MONEY??
We absolutely want to teach our kids about being responsible with money and how money works. So here’s what we do instead of an allowance.
We have a Work for Hire board.
If our kids ever want to earn money, AFTER they have completed their standard you’re-a-part-of-this-family chores, they can go to this board and can ask to do as many extra chores as they like to earn some money.
These chores are what I call extra, or deep cleaning, type chores that go beyond the daily routine. Things like …
- cleaning out the front loading washer (have you seen how gross that rubber seal can get?? yuck!)
- beating the welcome mat clean
- cleaning out the car
- wiping the baseboards
- sweeping the back porch/front porch
- cleaning the vents
- picking up dog poop
- breaking down cardboard boxes for recycling
- vacuuming the sliding glass door track
- washing walls/doors/cabinet doors
- cleaning the trash cans
Each job as has a preassigned payment, so the kids and I both know what they are owed at the end. And this helps them know how much work they need to do if they want a certain amount of money.
For now, this is how we’re handling chores at our house. We will likely be enhancing this system as the kids get older, and adding more complex jobs to the Work for Hire board, but for now this is working really well for us. We feel this really strikes a good balance between the chores vs. allowance conundrum.
So now I want to hear from you? How do you handle chores on your homestead??