My kids don’t get allowance and they sure as heck don’t get paid to do chores. Picking up their shit is something they do because one day they will like it. I am still waiting for the day I will like it, I know its just around the corner. There is a deeper lesson that I am trying to instill in my children by not paying them to do chores. It sure is cute to see these hand-crafted Chore Boards with their payments of dollars and cents clipped neatly to the corresponding chore. I do love the idea of making a board to tell my kids what they need to do, but there will never be money attached to those chores at my house.
There are a few reasons that I wont pay the Kidiots to do chores, my being a cheap bastard is certainly one reason, but it’s not the most important reason. I refuse to reward my kids with money for doing something that is a reward in its self. I want to teach my kids that cleaning up their piss when they miss the toilet is a sign of pride in your self and your home. It’s also the right thing to do if you don’t want mom to kick your butt when she steps in it. It’s just fucking logical. You don’t get a dollar for being a reasonable little human. You get a pat on the back for helping mom and (hopefully) a sense of responsibility that doesn’t have to be coerced with money. I don’t feel like i am being unreasonable to expect my children to clean their room. I don’t think that putting away your laundry deserves a fucking dollar. I spend literal hours matching socks and hanging up clothes and wiping butts and noses and dishes and all that nonsense and I only get the satisfaction of knowing that I am doing a kick ass job at it. I get to see the happiness that my tireless works brings to my family. Nobody pays me to do the shit that needs to be done (in cash anyhow – in kisses is a different story 🙂 and a reality of life is that you have to do these things to keep your home and self healthy and happy. You don’t get paid for it – so my kids will never get paid for it. Not by me. They want to become housekeepers, I’m okay with that, but I will not be hiring them.
My kids do have chores. My 6 year old cares for all the animals. He does a half-assed job if not reminded but he does it. He and his 2 year old sister are expected to keep their rooms clean-ish and they know that “pick up the toys” means exactly that. No funds will be changing hands for this shit. I often hand them a rag and instruct them to dust. They do it because I asked them to. I like them to help, it is fun for all of us. I get help with the monotonous daily Bull Shit and they get to help mom, which they love. They actually fight over who gets to empty the dishwasher. I wish I could take credit for this anomaly, but I think they do it just to have a reason to knock one another out in evening.
These chores and more are expected of my kids, and they are expected to do it without ever asking for money. Wiping the fucking toothpaste out of the sink and sopping up the water on the bathroom floor after a bath are things that a person, no matter how small, should do. I want my kids to care about our home and want to take care of it, be proud of it and of themselves for keeping it in order. I want my kids to know that hard work is the way shit gets done. I also want them to know that cleaning up after themselves and taking care of the pets is not a job. It is a simple, daily task that makes life easier. Doing these chores, without being told and without the expectation of money is my ultimate goal for them. They get praised for doing things, they never lack for love and appreciation and they reciprocate. As a family we care for our home together.
In the same way that my kids don’t lack for love, they certainly don’t lack things either. They have a playroom full of things. My biggest challenge right now as a parent is teaching them to care for those things and I am not going to buy that lesson from them with a colorful chore chart and a couple bucks. I don’t want my already spoiled brats to expect me to pay them for giving a shit about their toys, rooms, and self. I feel like the deeper lesson is respect. Respect for their things, their home, themselves and us, their parents is something they will learn by valuing the work they do for the result, and not the payment. Maybe when they are older I will create opportunities for them to earn some money with a creative task, but hopefully by then they will be doing all the daily chores out of respect and expectations for themselves. I will not pay for a clean bathroom out of principal. That, and I am a cheap bastard.