Monday, May 4, 2009


Today I witnessed a miracle. I can’t get over it! I bought a package of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers with the thought that they might get the marker and crayon drawings off the walls in Josh’s room (I know, I know. Unenlightened, soul-crushing mother). It did a good job on the crayon but left faint marks where the marker did the tagging. I wasn’t too disappointed; I could always paint over it. I decided to see how it did on the woodwork in the kitchen and to my utter astonishment, it easily removed Josh’s black Sharpie artistry! I figured that was there for the long haul (meaning until I hauled out my orbital sander and laid waste to it). So anyway, to make a short story long, I’m impressed. I bought several boxes of Albertson’s knock offs and have big plans for the kids . . .

These kids do not like to work. I guess that’s not shocking or anything. I find myself repeating the same annoying thing my mom used to say, “I wish you could just see things that need doing and do them without being told!”. No matter what needs to be done, there’s always some rationale for their exemption. And me, being me, find it way more appealing to do it myself. Can’t keep it up though because I’ll end up raising a bunch of incompetent whiners and we can’t have that.

The kids ask about allowance occasionally but we’ve never quite established a) how much is appropriate and b) what the requirements should be. They have friends who receive hefty allowances for what amounts to nothing more than proof of breathing. As much as I want them to get some experience truly managing money before they head out into the real world, I do think they need to earn it. Maybe I should just capitate them after a certain age but that’s another thought for another day.

I’m trying something with Sam and Sierra right now because they both have requested things I’m unwilling to pay for. Sam wants some sort of Nerf thing and Sierra wants a touch-screen Nikon CoolPix. I’d say neither of them understands the value of a dollar. I made them each a grid, Sam’s with quarters and Sierra’s with dollars, roughly amounting to what they needed. For now the two of them are more than happy do the jobs I ask of them. I'm sure this too shall pass.


  1. WOW, this sounds familiar. This is what we have done and do now.
    For a while, we gave the kids half their age for their allowance. And, their allowance was tied into behavior, chores and school work. Whenever they got into trouble, we would give them a paperclip which meant subtracting 25 cents off their allowance.
    Now we settled on $6. They have a list of chores, some daily and some weekly. If they do everything well, they get a full allowance. If they only get 'half' the available points, each job has a point value, then they only get half of their allowance. And if they haven't done at least half the work, they don't get an allowance at all.
    Also, they have to pay tithing and put money away for savings and then the rest is theirs to spend how they want.

  2. we dont do allowances. The theory behind that is, if I pay you to do what you should be doing in the first place am I really teaching you a lesson or am I teaching you that expecting payment for things is the way life works.... so we work on the this is a family rule of thumb and as a family it is the responsibility of all who live in the house to take care of what needs to be taken care of.

    at times it works well and at other times well the system fails. but for us it works. best of luck to you for finding your system that works


So, what do you think?