I like the idea of earning allowance but we have tried this in the past and it just doesn't work for us. I'm inconsistent with paying them and the cash is not really all that meaningful to my kids. Toys on the other hand, toys they get. I came across this vides (here) at Power of Moms on teaching kids about working to earn something they wanted. Bingo! This looked perfect.
Last week the girls and I searched online for something they wanted to work toward. Ava really liked the horses she got for Christmas and wanted another one. Erin choose a Littlest Pet Shop set. We already have more than we need but she was really excited about it so I agreed. Now I'm not thrilled with the 'more stuff' part of this system but I think in the long run the girls will have a deeper understanding of the value of their things.
After they picked out what they wanted I printed a picture and created a chart based on the dollar amount (Ava $36, Erin $20). Each rectangle is one dollar, which is then divided into 4 squares.
One job = one square.
Empty the dishwasher. Color a square.
Set the table. Color a square.
Fold a basket of laundry. Color a square.
How simple is that? No nagging. No rotating. The more work they do the sooner they get their toy. Now they don't earn squares for every little thing they do. They still have to pick up after themselves and help with small things like feed the dog. But now instead of just clearing their dishes from the table I expect them to clear all the dishes and clean up the kitchen after dinner (one square). I'm there to help with things that are hot, heavy or sharp but they are doing the scraping, rinsing and loading on their own.
To get things started I told them that they could earn an extra square each time they learned a new job. This way they know what is expected of them and they are kind of excited about learning new things... like cleaning the bathroom.
I was about to set the table the other night and I had to stop myself because I knew one of the girls would be happy to do it. Now I just have to ask "who wants to vacuum?" and I immediately get volunteers.
To be sure I lived up to my end of the deal I have already purchased the toys just incase they were no longer available when they were earned. So far I think the girls understand that it going to take a lot of work and a long time but they are so excited about earning their reward. I'll keep you posted as we get closer to finishing our charts.