Coming of Age

I have a friend who has 2 daughters. When they both turned 12 or 13 they started doing ALL of their own laundry! She told me that she even very rarely moves laundry from the washer to the dryer for them, but reminds them that if they want something specific to wear, etc. then it is THEIR job to get it done!


I guess I have a few questions about this whole chores, allowance, and what all people do with their kids! I know it has a lot to do with how we are raised and how our parents taught us,,. I mean, I can hear it now… “I HAD TO CLEAN THE BATHROOMS EVERY SATURDAY AND YOU WILL TOO!”

But how do you decide when and which chores? Do you do an allowance? How do you decide what to give and how often?

At our house our 9 (almost 10 year old) makes her bed, puts her dirty clothes in her laundry basket, helps clean off the kitchen table and picks up her things to put them away. She does most of these everyday and I do not give her an allowance. I feel like she needs to learn to be responsible for her things and that her help is more or less what our family does together. (i.e. having our meal and cleaning up)

This past weekend we worked in the yard. The poor kid tried EVERY friend within a mile radius to see if they could play. No one was home. (Poor little lip hung down so low! So disappointed!) Her dad and I gave her some chores to do so that she could participate with us and not just be sitting in the house watching cartoons all day.

When it was all said and done she helped me rinse off some pavers, dragged bags of tree clippings from the back to the front yard and helped “wash” the house. (Well, she had some water and a brush. Not sure how much washing was actually taking place!)

After we finished we were exhausted and my husband decided to run to Chic-fil-a to get our supper, and as a reward, he bought her an ice cream.

SO! My question is… how you do handle such things? Saturday’s yard work was above and beyond what we normally ask of her. Would you have given her an allowance, or was the ice cream “reward” enough?

Growing up we never really got an allowance on a regular basis. I do not really know how people keep up with what kids earn and how they earn it. And in our situation,the grandparents are usually really good about giving little monetary gifts at report card time, holidays and birthdays so she has extra spending money. She is usually not hurting for funds… if you catch my drift!

My husband and I are not at odds over this or anything… as a matter of fact we have not discussed it much. I just wondered how other folk live! Can you help a sista out??


Cindy said…
I think each family should do what is right for them. There is no 'right or wrong' way to do it. If you and your husband agree, than that's the way it is! :)

When our kids helped out around the house, we usually tried to reward them in some way, like the ice cream you got for your daughter, or a small amount of money (a dollar or two for our 10 year old) depending on the amount of work done and the attitude in which it was done! That was always huge for us. We all have work to do (some of us get a paycheck) but not everyone does it with a good attitude.

One suggestion for a reward is to just spend time with your daughter. Does she enjoy going on walks with you? Baking? Bike riding? Sometimes just doing something fun together will be a great reward... for both of you!

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