I had a rare moment of privacy in the bathroom this morning. Rare because I was alone in a bathroom, for the first time in probably 9 years. Between the kids, the dogs, the cat, and the husband… I am never alone.
My peace and quiet lasted only a minute though, interrupted by an urgent banging on the door.
I said, “Yes? What’s the emergency?”
It was my son. He yelled that I owe him $1.
One dollar, huh? “For what?”, I asked.
“For doing a chore. I am leaving you alone in the bathroom, and not letting anyone else in. So since I am helping do something for you, I earn a dollar”, he explained.
“So can you pay me now?”, he said.
Hmmm. Pretty logical for a 6-year-old. Smart too. If I was able to choose my chores, I’m pretty sure I’d pick “guarding the bathroom door for mom”, over scrubbing toilets too!
This isn’t the first time he has tried choosing easy chores. Last week he overheard me asking where my phone was, and he ran and found it and brought it to me, completely excited. I said thank you to him and he stood there, like a bellhop waiting for a tip! He then actually asked for his $1 for his “chore”!
I should add that we have a good chore system. Each kid has regular weekly chores that are their responsibility for being a part of the household. No pay is given for those. But once those are completed, I give them the option of doing additional chores to earn money. $1 for each. And as you might have noticed, my son has gotten slightly carried away with trying to find more chores to do to earn money!
I’m proud he is already an entrepreneur at such a young age. But it has made me realize we may need to go back and repeat our Chores 101 class because he missed part of the point.
I think he definitely understands the “earning” part but he may need a refresher on the definition of a “chore” part.
But hey, it seems like I am not alone…
How do you handle kids’ chores in your home? Do your kids earn money for their chores? I’d love to hear other moms’ systems for teaching kids about responsibility.