I hope your week is off to a good start! Mine is including lots of client calls, checking some final items off my "before baby boy arrives" list and also lots of awareness that I hope this little one comes soon as I think my body is officially running out of room ;)
Back in December, after Christmas, Matt and I went on a date and talked a lot about what we thought worked well in 2017 as well as what was hard, and then dove into goals and dreams for 2018.
One of the top things we agreed we wanted to start immediately was chore charts + allowance for the girls. There were many reasons that this was/is important to us: teaching responsibility, time management, good stewardship principles, the rewards of hard work, and honestly, at the top of the list was the awareness that with a new family member we would both need some more help with household tasks and neither one of us wanted it to come across that baby brother was the reason "everything was changing." Rather, we wanted to make sure that this new routine, along with its expectations, was in place before his arrival so they didn't associate it with him whatsoever.
On our date night Matt and I came up with a list of tasks that we thought were age appropriate, meaningful, would alleviate some of the items falling on our shoulders, etc. We then discussed what we thought allowance should look like in terms of a monthly amount.
*Please note that I am aware that for each family things look different- I am just sharing where we landed after considering the different aspects of our family's dynamics and hope if nothing else this encourages you as consider what makes the most sense for your own family.
We ended up landing on the following chores:
Daily- make bed, get dressed, brush teeth + hair, set + clear table
As needed/asked- put clean clothes away, clean leaves off trampoline, pick up playroom, wash dishes, misc/other items.
Bi-weekly- 1st weekend of the month they are with us (they are with their Dad every-other-weekend) Ava to vacuum their bedroom + bathroom and Bella to clean their bathroom | 2nd weekend of the month they are with us Bella to vacuum their bedroom + bathroom and Ava to clean their bathroom.
And then as far as allowance, we landed on $15 per month/girl. Assuming their chores have been completed without us having to nag/remind, as well as with a "happy heart" (as we call it in our home), they earn $5/each the first weekend they are with us for that month. That initial amount goes in their respective GIVE jars and then the second weekend they are with us they earn $10/each- $5 of which goes in their LIVE jars and $5 of which goes in their SAVE jars.
I had found chore charts online a while ago and written each girl's names on a few and then had them laminated so we could easily use dry erase markers on them. Then, also a while back, I purchased and put together these containers of 3 jars each for the girls to be able to separate out their allowances (I think I found all of these items at Michael's).
A day or 2 after our date, I set aside time to write everything out and then when we picked up the girls after their time with their Dad we talked through everything. We approached it from a place of us seeing how much they're growing and already handling responsibility well and that this is all a natural next step in them maturing.
Honestly, they were thrilled. I think they love the responsibility, the idea of having ownership over some tasks and of course they weren't upset about the allowance ;) This implementation has allowed for a number of great talks around being wise with what God has given us and how to steward our resources well.
And, for me specifically, it's allowed me to have some additional brain space as I don't need to try to remember what they can/should be helping with and it's allowed me to speak a lot fewer words in regards to reminders each morning or evening about what's expected. I can simply say, please handle your chore chart and they know exactly what they need to do. #hallelujah
On a similar note- I really enjoyed Jen Hatmaker's podcast with Emily Ley in which Jen mentions how she would find herself totally worked up at times with her kids seeing that their home seemed in complete disarray, etc. And then it hit her that she'd not clarified her expectations of them and therefore had not set them up for success in this area- no wonder they weren't taking care of certain things and no wonder she was feeling frustrated/overwhelmed!
She then shares that upon clarifying and outlining expectations of the children, everyone was on the same page and it's been incredibly helpful all around- case and point :)
I also want to share again that this can look different for different families depending on your dynamics, age of your children, etc. I have a client who just shared that she's made a late afternoon/early evening schedule for her girls and that it's helping their family tremendously. This time of day was often a pain point for her and so after some various coaching conversations we've had, coupled with her really doing some homework + taking ownership of her schedule, she realized that this schedule would allow everyone to feel empowered to make the most of that part of their day- so wise!
I hope this is helpful and encouraging, sweet friends! I will keep you posted on how it's going in our little family and any shifts we make, etc. And, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts- do you have chore charts and/or allowance for your children? What works well? What's been hard?
Cheers to intentional parenting!