Friday, 16 September 2016

Whistle While You Work

We'd been spending a while discussing the best approach for teaching the minions about both money and responsibilities.  When the end of the year report card came home with a particular suggestion for one of the kids suggesting how well they'd do with added household responsibilities to we decided that their fifth birthdays would be the perfect time to begin some structured chores and allowance.

The kids each earn five dollars a week provided they complete all of their assigned chores during the week.  When I saw an article in Business Insider about tried and true ways parents have set their children up for success I was smugly pleased that one of the ways was through regular chores.

Dinner for 2 with Multigrain Cheerios prepared by Chef Jacques a few years ago

10 reasons why our new chore routine is setting our kids up to be successful

1. It makes everyone more aware of their messes
I strongly believe that the minions recognized that happy little elves don't clean up after them, but added cleaning responsibilities really drives the point home.

2. It teaches cause and effect
When they leave the caps off of their markers and are the ones physically throwing them into the garbage because they no longer work, it should hopefully ring home that markers don't go on trees.  This will be even more apparent when they're replacing these markers using their allowance.

3. It teaches accountability
The minions will remind each other if one is cleaning a room while the other is playing. So far these gentle reminders come more often from one child in particular.  The same thing goes for when they can't find a toy that they didn't put away or a sock that didn't make it to the hamper.

4. It builds confidence
The other day we had a guest over and Molly wanted to show them the room that she and Jack had just tidied.  It was adorable.

This tiny chef knows how to multi-task circa 2013

5. It teaches real life skills
College is not the time to be learning how to do laundry, cook, or make a bed.  Start them while they're young!

6. It forces us as parents to let them become more independent
Often Chris and I are guilty of doing things for the minions because we're pressed for time.  By getting them to do more and more things on their own, they improve their own logic, gross and fine motor skills on a daily basis and things will get easier for everyone.

7. It slows down the "can I have that" mentality whenever we're out at a store
Toys now get saved up for, and anything bought on impulse gets paid for out of the piggy bank when they get home.

8. It solidifies our family as a team
We all contribute to this household and making it run smoothly, whether it's paying bills, cleaning, cooking, or caring for each other.  The minions are increasingly proud of the part they play in making the machine that is our family run smoothly.

9. It teaches them about money
Counting coins as they go into piggy banks teaches counting and math.  They're learning about saving, spending and charity each and every week.

10. It lightens the parental load
Lunches make their way out of backpacks onto the counter by someone other than Chris and I, garbages and recycling gets gathered weekly, and the kids are eager to take on more.  My favourite thing is when it's tidy time and Molly proudly comes back to me saying, "EASY!!!! What's next?"

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