It's another thing I can blame on Good Morning America, I love GMA and human interest fluff, anyone who knows me can attest to this. So one morning there were "experts" telling me my toddler needed a chore, really, I mean, I can get help with the laundry? Two is the perfect age they said, really, had these people met a toddler before? I wondered. I started to wonder how we would find the balance I felt was important between what you can earn money for helping with and what is just plain expected of you, because you don't get paid to be part of this family.
A few chats with the Husband later and the Boy has a chore. His chore is to help feed the dog and the cat. We have a "chart" aka I write on a piece of paper - nothing fancy. Once there is a sticker by each number, he get's some jingle ($3.00 or 50 cent per assist). I'm starting to think a two year old would knock off someone for a sticker, especially when you put Lightning McQueen on it. If he doesn't want to help one night, that is more than fine, but he doesn't get a sticker because even with Tow Mater calling, you can't give a two year old a chore to do everyday and expect it to go well for anyone. On the nights he helps, I make a big deal out of the fact that he helped and tell him he did such a good job, and I thank him for helping us out.
|You don't need special expensive charts - the stickers were a dollar spot score!|
We also have rules on what has to be done with the money because I feel like there's lessons to learn here too. The Husband and I were not taught good money lessons - a cycle we're intentionally breaking. Half he has to save, half he can put in his little wallet to spend. More often than not, he'll ask to save all of his money. But he's also not afraid to ask us to take him to the store for something specific (enter the dollar dinosaur collection). And if he doesn't have enough money for what he wants, he doesn't get it - trust me, this one hits home fast.
Then there is the flip side of this money making gig. You have to be part of our family and until someone is paying me to do your laundry - well, help is just expected with some things. Put your dirty clothes in the laundry while I start your bath, help set the table, help clear the dishes. All of this he loves to do as is. If I say pick up your toys so I don't step on them - I really mean put them up, he knew where everything was to get it out, he knows where everything goes to put it away. He's expected to clean up between task at daycare, I think it's fine to expect it at home too. I feel like having expectations, even the small one of not stepping on Thomas or one of his Friends, is just as important as paying him for a chore.
|The Boy & His Dog|
My tips to help you pick a chore for your toddler
1. Don't pick something you really care about. Now, I care that our animals get fed, but that's getting done anyway. If you want you towels folded a certain way - don't ask for their help folding laundry.
2. Make it something that is routine - we feed the fur babies while we cook dinner, every night - he knows this is coming.
3. Pick something they already like to do - he loves our animals and loves to do things for them.
4. Make it a big deal - Thank him, clap for him while he puts up his sticker. Making him feel special makes him want to help more.
Does your toddler have a chore? What are your rules for chores? I'm curious if I'm the only one out there paying my kid!