Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Once upon a time...

there was a mom that felt like all she did was repeat herself and pick up after other people. One day she'd had ENOUGH. Her kids were helpful when they wanted to be, and when they didn't want to be, they were just downright whiny about being helpful.

Although Roman, her eldest, had been begging and petitioning for an allowance since birth, he'd recently kicked it up a notch and was getting beyond bothersome. And to make matters worse, she was running out of ways to delay his constant pleading for "things to do to earn money".

The most stunning of all moms (like that? :) and most virile (such a scandalous adjective, but makes me laugh) of all dads had MANY disagr, uh, I mean, discussions about how "to do" the whole allowance thing. "One kid cares about it. The other doesn't even care what a quarter is. One is ready, the other doesn't give a rip." To no avail.... the most equitable of all dads feels a DEEP need for allllllll things to be exactly (gross understatement) the same.

So, one night as the most beautiful of all moms lay in bed replaying her day and brainstorming for home peace, she stumbled upon the most promising of ideas!

She'd give the kids responsibilities and then at the end of the week, she'd allow them to choose either snacks OR money. Duh. So, the kid who only cares about food AND the kid desperate to pad his wallet will both be thrilled!

To kick this whole thing off, the most magnificent (I'm just having fun thinking of these) of all moms went on a shopping trip late one night (because it seems like that's the only time things get done) to stock up. She spent more on single serve snacks than she had in the 7 years previously, but she did so with much hope in her heart. Tiny little rootbeers, strawberry applesauce, granola bars, funyons (uh, yeah!), little cookies, fruit snacks, mini bags of popcorn, and the list went on.

She then made a list of responsibilities for the boys and made a chart for each.

She THEN pondered why all her pictures were coming out fuzzy and then she remembered this day.....

And when the big boys came home from school and the money grubber immediately asked her to hear about the allowance, she unveiled the plan...

For every day they complete their responsibilities the boys can either choose one snack item or 50 cents. Before you flog this mom for offering food to her children in return for contributing to the household, you must know that her kids rarely get any of this stuff in normal life (she's cruel like that). Also, understand that the littlest of the bigs is most certainly uninterested in monetary tradeoffs, so this is a system that HOPEFULLY will teach delayed gratification, self control, consequences, responsibility, giving, saving, how happy a mom can be when she gets some help up in this place, and many other valuable lifelong lessons for both boys in a way that's appropriate for their age, ability, and understanding.

The mom told the munchkinbutts that they'd be paid on Mondays, and, if they choose, snacks, they will keep them in their room and can eat them anytime they want except right before meals and bedtime (oh, the light in short stuffs eyes when he heard this!). And, if they choose money, we'll be dividing it up to saving, spending, and giving portions.

Of course, they were giddy with excitement and couldn't wait to do their after school responsibilities. But, before they were off, Roman declared that he'd be choosing a bag of funyons (I'm telling ya, they're hard to resist) and $2.50. Then he thought harder and decided he'd probably do the funyons AND a root beer and $2....a boy after my own heart. Elijah, without one nanosecond of hesitation declared he'd be choosing 6 snacks.

And as she sits in a clean living room next to a kitchen with a sparkling floor, this most humble of all mamas hates to say it to the most amazing of Daddys, but I told ya so! :)


Amber said...

Great idea! Let me know how it works! I need to do something new with my chickens! They are driving me freaking nuts!

matt said...

Great idea, Dena. I've been pondering this subject myself. We've started giving Josiah an allowance, but I don't think he cares that much. I think I need to tie it more to chores. Do you ever threaten to take away for bad behavior?


Craig said...

sounds like a GREAT plan!
what a magnificent mom!!!

Lil Eskimo said...


no, we don't plan to tie the system to bad behavior. we'll deal with that separately. if they complete their responsibilities, they will get their allowance.

craig...the most magnificent of all! :) it was great to see your comment!

Lisa said...

Love it!
We started allowance with the girls several years ago.....it works like this, they are responsible for folding and putting away their laundry.
rooms must be clean by Sunday evening every week ( as mondays are my cleaning day)
all homework and such must be done each night(when one fails to bring home said homework they lose that days allowance)
the best part of this is that they can actually end up owing us money at the end of the week! LOL
Things have changed a little here and there over the years, but this is the basics...

Joel said...

I love this. Especially your writing! You describe yourself as stunning, most beautiful, most magnificent, cruel and most humble.

I'd agree with all of that (except maybe the cruel part...but I don't live with ya 24/7 ;)