Jobs and Responsibilities

Jobs and Responsibilities

My sister Anna got both kids a little present when Liddi was born. Jaeda got a color game (IT WORKED; SHE’S FINALLY LEARNED {most of} HER COLORS!), and Corban got this chore chart. He’s been asking about money for, oh, a year or so. So we decided to finally do something about it. The top section with red stars are his responsibilities–taking care of himself. He doesn’t get paid for these things. (Obviously, I either need to care more about made beds or just take it off the list!) Jaeda has a few things herself. This list will grow and change as some things become habits and others need more practice.

Then Corban has jobs and receives one nickel per completed job. I wanted the jobs to be actually helpful to me, things that I’m already doing that could be taken off my plate. We had a discussion at the beginning of using this chart about my needing more help around the house since we have the baby now. How our family needs their contributions. I got through “put my clothes away” on Corban’s chart, and he was already running upstairs with excitement. “Sorry, Mom, I’ll be right back. I have to go to my responsibility!” When we got to his jobs and earning money (Dave Ramsey calls this a “commission.” We’ll actually be taking/leading/offering his Smart Money Smart Kids class. It’ll be here end of this month!), he could barely contain himself. I knew he could put the silverware away, so I gave that to him as his official job. Not just a fun thing to do sometimes as I’m unloading the dishwasher, but actually his job. He ran off to do it before I could tell him about the rest. As I was waiting for him to return, I heard cupboard doors opening and closing. Curious, I walked into the dining room and inquired on all the commotion. HE HAD PUT ALL THE DISHES AWAY. I never considered that he’d know where everything goes and could reach it all. He gets a step stool for the higher things. And apparently he’s a keen observer, because he put it away almost all correctly! I was incredulous. Maybe it’s just a first born thing, but it really made me wonder in what other ways I’m holding him back, thinking he’s not capable. I was really excited. And obviously, so was he.

These have already changed since we started. Jaeda loves to vacuum the floor, so we’ve given that to her. We purchased a handheld vacuum for this purpose. Sweeping under the table needs to happen way more often than I actually do it. Now Corban’s job is emptying the whole dishwasher. In an effort to help him save his money a little faster (and us not have to shell out quarters…just yet), he gets a nickel per shelf of the dishwasher and one for the silverware–three nickels total. He just got his first raise, ha. Washing the table proved too difficult at this point–hard to reach the middle and scoop the crumbs. So it’s been swapped for dusting, another chore I never do (except in the long sleeve shirt walk by). One nickel per surface (we have very few surfaces)–piano, stairs, and one bookshelf. And if Jaeda doesn’t get to the vacuuming, Corban can earn money there.

Jaeda’s not very interested at this point. She mostly just likes to help and has no desire to purchase anything. But for Corban, he’s all in. (And when he’s not–not too often, at least yet, I say, “I’m happy to pay you to do this job with a happy heart. But if you decide you want to be angry about, you’re welcome to do this job and get no money.”)

He’s already purchased two Hot Wheels cars–a minivan and a tractor dragster. I agree; interesting choices. But for him to take his money box to the store, find the item he’s been saving for, and pay the cashier all by himself? It’s been a dream come true. And placing a few of his nickels in the offering plate at church? He beams. I’d say we’re off to a good start, but I know this is only a start. We’ll tweak as we learn and experience and grow. Preschoolers are just oodles of fun in learning.


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