Eps 236: Solo Show – Chores and Allowance


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Solo show – last minute decision to wait on the conversation that I was going to air today….

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Today I am going to talk about chores and allowance

There was a post from a mom in on of the Joyful Courage FB  groups a few weeks ago reflecting on how it was time for her 11 and 5 year old to begin chores and allowance. The comments were a range of advice, with many parents speaking into separating chores from allowance. I promised the group that I would speak into this on the podcast.

Before I do though, I want to say that you get to take this information and make it your own, right? You get to decide what is best for YOUR family when it comes to chores and allowance. I also acknowledge that being able to give our children and allowance isn’t something that everyone can do. Please listen for the underlying spirit instead of listening thinking there is a “right” way to do this.

Also, I want you to notice if you are listening though the filter of “my kids won/t…” or “what happens if they don’t…” or you will miss the message.

There is a level of significance and mattering that shows up when our kids are expected to be in contribution. Trust that. Trust them.

So chores – contributions/family work

casey headshot.png

  • So much online for age appropriate chores

  • They are enthusiastic when young although it may be a challenge for us

  • Less enthusiastic when older which is also challenging

We started when our kids were young and we have been through MANY different routines for family work. They have always been expected to take care of the kitchen after dinner, and help out around the house.

I have lived through the same pushback that everyone else gets, and I hold that “we all live here, we all take care of our home.” This is just what we do. When the kids moan or complain, I work hard not to get sucked in, instead say, “I know – there are other things I want to do right now too” or “what would help you in getting this done?”

Some kids more easy going than others

Have a plan, be explicit

Co-creating routines

  • Daily

  • Weekly

  • Family house cleaning party

  • Check in on how it’s working (family meeting)

  • Tweak as necessary

Inside the plan be explicit about what is a “completed job” and when it needs to be done by

Take time to train:

  • You do the task while child watches

  • You do the task together

  • Child does task while you watch

  • Child does the task independently

Fold this into the fabric of your family
Don’t be rigid
Ask for their ideas

Allowance – we don’t pay for chores…. Story about rowan and ian

“yeah but” – typically don’t need to threat or reward – and will be explicit “your jobs need to be done before you leave the house/jump on a screen/lunchtime/etc”

We don’t pay for chores.

We started giving the kids a small allowance when they were young so that they had money to learn to manage.

  • Save

  • Give

  • Spend

As they got older, their allowance increased and what we would pay for decreased

  • Time out in the world with friends

  • Haricuts

  • Cosmetics

  • Shoes (Ian is obsessed)

Not so much allowance that they could do whatever they wanted, just enough so that they would feel the tension and learn to “manage” their money.

There are bigger jobs around the house that we pay for – car washing/lawn mowing – but other than that, allowance is separate from chores.


Amy McCreedy on Joyful Courage Eps 62 – Teaching our Kids Money Sense
The opposite of spoiled by Ron Lieber
Montessori guide to age appropriate chores (handout online)

Because I know you are thinking…. But what about when they don’t help out…??

Build relationship.
Build relationship.
Build relationship.

Create an agreement around chores:

“I have a problem and I need your help”

  • There is a lot to do and you need ot help out

  • Brainstorm a list of things to do around the house

  • This week, pick one a day

  • Thank you for following through OR I noticed you haven’t followed through, please get that done

  • Tweak as necessary

You’ve got this friend! Let me now what you put into practice and any questions or feedback that you have.


Thank you BETTER HELP!

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