Friday, April 10, 2009

Earning Money for Chores

Queen Teen is a hard worker. She loves to help and will willingly do a chore when I ask her to. Well... most of the time. Especially now that she gets paid for doing those chores.

We've been using a sticker chart to track when she does her chores and when a week fills up with stickers, she gets a dollar. However, my daughter is still struggling with money and how much a quarter is in relation to a dollar. So I came up with the great idea that I would pay her a quarter every time she did a chore and then we would add those quarters up to figure out how many dollars she had earned.

She loved that idea! It really seemed to be motivating to get money immediately a task was completed rather than having to wait until the end of the week for a "paycheck."

Last week, I asked Queen Teen to put her clean clothes away. She happily went to her room and got to work while I sat on the couch and congratulated myself on my brilliance. Yep. I'm a pretty clever Mom.

After a few minutes, Queen Teen yelled something she had never said before. "I'm all done! Someone can pay me now!"

I sat there for a moment with my mouth wide open. What did she just say? Pay me now? Then I started laughing. Oh dear. I've created a monster.

It wasn't what she said as much as how she said it, in that little, demanding voice that seemed to think I should be jumping off the couch to do her bidding. I could see her, 22 years old and at work, yelling at her boss that he should pay her NOW.

She came out of her room and looked at me with her arms folded. "Mom. I said you can pay me now."

"In a minute. I have to check your work."

She frowned and then returned to her room, mumbling that she had done what I asked her to do so why wasn't I paying her.

After I stopped giggling, I checked her work and then paid her the quarter. But later that day, I declared that we were changing the payment rules.

"You will get $2.00 a week as long as you do your chores and help around the house. If you do a good job, you get paid. If you refuse to do your work, you don't get paid."

She grinned. In her mind she just got a $1.00 raise. I didn't tell her she was actually earning less money per week. We'll leave that for another day when I explain about the difference between take home pay and earned pay.

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