Teaching Tyler how to be the “Dish Fish”
We recently implemented a new chore system for the boys…and there is no money attached to these chores. I know that’s a hotly debated topic, and while I’d love to hear your thoughts…I’d also love to have a productive conversation about chores!
First off, our boys do have certain chores that they earn a small payment for completing. We teach and show them exactly what is expected of them and we ‘inspect’ their jobs to make sure that they did them to completion. They have thrived with having these ‘jobs’ that they earn money for and my oldest son even used a good chunk of his savings to pay for a portion of some new ‘brand name’ basketball shoes that he wanted!
We recently implemented a ‘non-paying’ chore system to round out the paid chores, and have found it to be very helpful in showing the boys that there are some things you are just expected to do as being part of this family, and there are some things that you can earn money from completing. It’s a great balance and I think a great answer to the hot question of ‘Should You Pay Your Kids for Chores?’
Examples of what we pay the kids to do:
- Rake leaves
- Pull weeds
- Pick up dog messes
- Other clean up the yard activities
The 3 Chores that we expect them to do without payment:
- Laundry Bomber
- Dish Fish
- Vacuum Sucker
Let me explain these names…they were chosen by the boys and they think it’s ‘fun’ to do their jobs.
Laundry Bomber – This is the guy who gathers all the dirty laundry from the 3 main hampers upstairs and ‘bombs’ it down to the first floor. We have a ledge that they throw the dirty laundry over into a giant pile downstairs, then they kick it into the laundry room and help me sort it.
These are boys we’re talking about here, so there has to be a little fun and adventure involved. Since renaming this chore and giving them the freedom to ‘bomb’ the clothes over the ledge, I have had ZERO complaints about getting the clothes into the laundry room.
Dish Fish – This is the guy who rinses the dishes and loads the dishwasher. We sometimes help with any ‘tough dishes,’ but for the most part the Dish Fish (usually Tyler!) gets to play in the water and get a job done at the same time.
Vacuum Sucker – This is the sucker who gets to vacuum. (See what I did there!) We are in the ‘play outside all the time’ season, so we are vacuuming a lot. When one is fishing dishes, the other is bombing laundry, it’s not hard to get the other one sucking up all the dirt and leaves from the carpet and floors. We’re all in this together!
I realize there are many other chores we could have them doing, and we do ask them to do often…but there are our main 3 that we have assigned to the 3 older boys. I’m all about the simplicity of this system!
I’m super stoked to share this new mobile app that helps parents and kids communicate about their chores, responsibilities and jobs…Homey App!
Homey allows parents to set responsibilities (not paid, but must be done before jobs, and can lead to privileges like weekly allowance or daily screen time if that’s your system), and jobs – paid chores they get coins for.
You can then also set goals that kids can save for – either money, toys, trips…
AND…the best part – you can connect the app to your kid’s bank/savings accounts.
Our family has started using Homey and we LOVE it!
It’s the best and easiest way for our boys to learn the value of work and money, and also about banking, their savings and interest too. It’s opened up the conversation about work and putting more of the responsibility into their hands too.
Other side benefit for using Homey – it’s helping the boys understand and live through “delayed gratification.” This lesson is super important to us as a family, as our boys grow up in this instant gratification world.
You can learn more about Homey App and their “chore packs” and more on their website >>> Homey App – check it out and then download it onto everyone’s devices.
I really like these chores and yes boys do better when they can make it into a game. Nice job!
We have paid and not paid chores too. We live on a farm so they have a considerable amount of chores that they do because…well they are animal owners and they live here. But I do find they do the “hard” stuff better if they are going to be paid. And by “hard” stuff I mean chores I would be doing. I have magnetic clips that I put a piece of paper with the chore and then clip the money that they can earn by doing it to my fridge. This way if they want to earn some extra cash all they have to do is go to the fridge and pick a chore. This method works really well for us. And we’ve used it the last few years. By the way my boys are 11 and 7.
Michelle T says
We do something similar. I’ve told my kids, “I don’t get paid to keep up the house. Payment comes in being a good steward of the blessings.” There are assigned responsibilities for each day. They can ask for extra responsibilities at any time. These are usually my responsibilities that I happy give to them and pay them for doing. There are times when life is busy that I’ll ask if anyone wants to do a responsibility for pay. I pay them minimum wage for our state. They must work diligently and well to get the job done. Then I inspect and pay based on time and work done.
Lee Gilmer says
I wish more parents would do this. I admit, I didn’t have to do any chores but then, I saved most of my allowance as I wasn’t going to spend 2/5’s of it on a comic book (my father’s input) in the ’50’s. Sounds like they are also in the habit of saving which is something too many parents don’t teach their children. I got .50 and had to put 1/2 of it in a savings account.
Thanks so much for sharing this! I had no idea how to implement chores. We have an 8, 6, and 3 year old, so their level of ability is pretty different. The one thing I would LOVE help with is putting away laundry!! I’m thinking of training my oldest and paying him. We give our kids an allowance and expect them to help around the house or they lose their money.
Bonnie Walke says
We expect our three kids to help with dishes and laundry as part of being a family. We then pay commission for other jobs that need doing. If they work, then they get paid! We also are working on teaching them to give some, save some and spend some when it comes to their money. Love the “Smart Money, Smart Kids” book by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze.
We have specific jobs for the boys to do. But they don’t get paid for them. We have paid for certain special work to be done (collecting acorns this fall) but the daily, keeping the house running kind of chores are expected by everyone. The key for us is to have them written out in a list for them to check and for me to remember what I assigned them! And I typed out the steps to certain jobs (cleaning the bathroom versus tidying the bathroom) so my oldest can check it to make sure he is doing what is expected.
I completely agree with both types of chores. I have told my kids that we are all a part of our family and live in our house and we all need to help out with the day to day chorse of having a family home. (unloading/loading dishwasher, wiping the table, sweeping, etc). They are all responsible for tidying the basement play room etc. Also I will not pay them to clean their own rooms =) However, if they would like to earn extra money they can ask me for chorse such as washing walls, floorboards, etc and I am happy to pay them to help me with stuff I would otherwise be doing by myself and just don’t always have time to get to. As the kids have gotten older (and I have gotten smarter about getting them to help me) we have adjusted what chorese they do. My 11 year old certainly ends up doing more than my 7 year old but I figure I didn’t make him do much at 7 so it’s all good. They take the recycling and garbage out etc. It’s mostly little things and I know I need to take the time to teach them how to clean the bathrooms etc. As for laundry, my 9 and 11 yr old will bring their laundry to the laundry room (they both sleep downstairs near the laundry room and have their own baskets), I typically bring the laundry from upstairs (but I like the bombing idea haha). I do wash and dry all the clothes and then fold them and put them in the baskets for the older 2 and then they have to put them away in their drawers (with the threat that if they don’t do it neatly they will learn to do their own laundry haha). I know kids their age who do their own laundry but quite honestly find it easier to put all their stuff together still so I can have full loads of appropriate colors. Someday they will do their own. haha. I have also talked with my kids about helping family members. Sometimes they will get paid for chores done and Grandma & Grandpas but I tell them that sometimes you do stuff to be nice and help a family member out and don’t get paid, sometimes you get paid but that they should not always expect it from family. My kids are all saving for something right now and I think it’s great that they can choose how fast they earn by asking for extra chores, good life lesson I think. Plus they asked if we could buy them what they wanted and then they would do the chores to earn it and I said absolutely not! I want to teach my kids to have the money before they buy something, not to live on credit! Yikes.
Lisa @ TechChick Adventures says
We don’t have paid chores… yet. But my daughter just learned how to mow the grass so I’m not sure if we were pay her for that or not since it is a large task. I do give my kids (10 and 12 yrs) a minimal allowance – $2 a week – but that is just so they have some spending cash and can learn to make financial decisions. I think kids should help out at home and not always expect to get paid for it!