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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Starting Them Young

Today Joshua came in the utility room while I was washing his diapers. I was loading them into the dryer and one dropped on the floor. Joshua picked it up and put it in the dryer, so I handed him some more, which he put in the dryer, as well. Yes, my one year old was helping me with the laundry! Granted, if I wasn't quick enough with the wet stuff, he'd pull items back out and throw them on the floor, but the intention was there!

I'm a firm believer in exploiting a child's interests. LOL

Jacob started doing "jobs" around the house and earning some cash doing them when he was 2 years old. He doesn't get an "allowance". Every cent he has, he earned in some way or received as a gift from a friend or relative. Unfortunately, with our financial situation, we haven't been in a place to "hire" him very often, but when he does get a job, he gets to divide his earnings up between his banks. I got these as a gift when I volunteered at the Dave Ramsey LIVE event in Dallas at the beginning of the month. Link to bank on Dave Ramsey's site.
The cup is so you can see just how large these things are!
Before the banks, he had envelopes with "Give", "Save", and "Spend" on them. The "Give" envelope, he would take to church and empty into the collection plate. The "Save" went into his savings account at the credit union. The "Spend" envelope would collect until he had $10-$15 and then he'd go to the store and get a new toy.

Don't get me wrong, we still get him little treats every once in a while, but for the most part, if we're at a store and he asks for something, we ask him if he has his money to buy it.

Being the lazy person that I am, you can see why I really enjoy this parenting technique. At six years old, Jacob can:

Do a complete load of laundry (washer/dryer/put away...folding still needs work)
Do a load of dishes and put them away
Sweep and mop the kitchen
Rake leaves and bag them (with help)

However, since we can't afford to pay him to do any of that right now, Chad and I are stuck with those particular chores.

We've also told him about things that are his "responsibilities". These include picking up his room, the playroom, and after himself in general. That means taking his own dirty dishes to the sink and rinsing them off, throwing away any trash he creates, and cleaning up any spills he happens to cause.

So, if you're wondering how to teach your kids about the value of money and personal responsibility, this is how we're doing it. Feel free to do the same thing and tweak it to fit your own family if it sounds good to you.

I just hope they remember these lessons in ten years. LOL

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