Chore Cards and Parental Winning

I am a child stuck in an adult’s body. Seriously. My kids sometimes make the best arguments and I find myself thinking… touche, little one. So when it came to the situation of chores and allowance in our home, it was enough to make me want to pull my hair out. Why? Because I am still haunted by the Saturday mornings that my mother woke us up at 7:30 AM singing Disney songs and turning on our bedroom lights trying to wake us up for – wait for it – SATURDAY CHORES. I just threw up in my mouth a bit. Fast forward to today. I still don’t want to wake up on Saturdays to do my chores let alone fight my kids to do theirs. True misery, my friends. However, I also am very quick to notice when my children are letting their “entitlement” show. I don’t do well when my kids expect things to be handed to them and I am very sensitive to the “gimme” disease.

My husband and I were torn on the issue. We were tired of fighting the kids on chores and not being able to do our own because they had to get to theirs first. For example, dishes. I cannot load the dishwasher when someone was supposed to empty it before school. Cue the arguing and excuses. Most of the time we ended up doing it all so it gets done. No arguments, no whining.

Then there’s the flip side. We want our kids to understand that things aren’t always fun and being a part of a family means working together and creating support where needed. Enter the chore punch card.

Chore punch cards and a free printable download | KaraLayneAndCo.com

We heard Dave Ramsey discuss allowance and chores for kids once. His belief is allowing the kids to choose what they want to do for money. It’s a taste of how life will be when they are older – if you want money, you go out and work for it. It’s not forced on you and it’s purely by choice. An easy idea – no work, no money. We were hooked once we heard this, but after searching online, all the chore systems based on this idea were ridiculous. Listen, I bought an Elf on the Shelf and couldn’t keep up with that after two days so heaven knows that I am not going to keep up with adding ice cream scoops to each kids chore cone posted on the fridge. Moms, you know what I am talking about.

And then it came to me. While scrolling on Pinterest. The original idea I came across was that the kids turned their cards in for their choice of reward. Again, too much. I am just trying to make it through each Target trip with the entire grocery list complete without someone losing it. I am certainly not going to spend my time in the dollar section hunting for treasure box items. All of that and I also didn’t care for the designs out there so I set out to create our own. Ta-da!

Along with the punch cards, my husband and I also created a master list of chores that are kid appropriate, but are things that we can’t always get to on a daily or weekly basis (pull weeds, sanitize doorknobs and light switches, clean kids bedrooms, etc). The master list of chores are posted on the fridge, refreshed every week, and the kids can choose anything they want to do. When they have completed a job, they ask us to go and check it and if it was done well and done all the way, we punch their card and they cross off that chore on the list. When they have filled their card with all ten punches they can turn it in for cash. Each card holds a $5.00 value with the promise that it will go up each year. Inflation is no joke.

Chore punch cards and a free printable download | KaraLayneAndCo.com

When we rolled out this system, we were also very clear on a few things. Number 1. They are responsible for their card. If they lose it we replace the card, but not the punches. They have to start all over. Number 2. Now that they have a solid way to earn their own money, all treats while running errands and at stores have stopped completely. If they want something at the store such as a new toy or a box of candy, they have to pay for it. Number 3. If they don’t bring their own money to the store, they are out of luck. No loans are given to people with no credit. Number 4. Half of everything they earn goes directly into their savings and anything they decide to spend their money on is their business. No matter how much I think Pokemon cards are worthless.

We have been functioning off of this system for several weeks now and I have to say that it has completely changed everything. There is no more fighting over chores and getting the kids to handle their responsibilities. They choose when and what they want to do for work and have been so much more responsible. High fives for finding your best fit in managing a household with kids, am I right? And the best part is that I am sharing the free printable download of the chore punch card designs so you can enjoy for yourself as well. Snag it right here!

Cheers to parental wins. Now if I could just get dinner on the table every night…

 

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