When I was in college, I shared rent for a house with four other women. We had a chore wheel to keep track of sharing the cleaning and maintenance of the house. I loved it. We worked as a team to get the jobs done. Three years ago, I introduced the concept to our children.
What does this kids’ chore wheel have to do with being frugal? It instills an appreciation for the things we have, “Pride-in-Ownership,” as well as a good work ethic. In the last three years, our three kids have been rotating these three main chores, after-dinner: sweep the floor, wash the dining room table, and wash the dining room chairs. They are also expected to clear the table and fill the dishwasher with their plates, cups and utensils. Emptying the dishwasher is saved for vacation days, when there is more time in the morning. I’d rather have each of them devote time in the morning to making their own beds.
Beyond the expected house chores, there are house jobs that they have the option of doing to earn money. Some of these include washing walls, door frames, toe boards, mirrors, and windows.
Outdoor house jobs that they are expected to do themselves include cleaning up after their play, as well as working as a family to do basic seasonal clean-ups like raking, shoveling or watering. (Our daughter is just learning to mow the lawn with our rotary push mower. We’ll see how that goes.) Just as with indoor jobs, there are those above and beyond jobs that we pay them to do, such as picking up buckets of fallen acorns and in late fall, rake and bag mounds and mounds of leaves.
There are times when the kids moan and groan about having to do their chores. The key is keep calm and not take their complaints personally. Repeat the expectations matter-of-factly, and it will soon become routine. It will be worth the repetition. I love when they tell me that their friends aren’t even expected to make their beds. To which I say, how lucky you are that what is becoming routine for you now will be very difficult to begin for them as teenagers.
A chore wheel teaches teamwork, pride-in-ownership, independence, mutual respect and respect for parental authority. It’s a great tool to guard against that sense of entitlement and disrespect for authority that so many youth have today. If you have these kinds of tools to share, please do! These are the tools of success in my book!
Striving for sustainable prosperity,
Two great books:
Discipline for Life: Getting It Right With Children by Marilyn Swift and
The Successful Child: What Parents Can Do to Help Kids Turn Out Well by William Sears, Martha Sears, and Elizabeth Pantley
- About Aimee: Sustainable Prosperity (twofrugalfairfielders.com)
- Instilling a Work Ethic in Your Entitled Child – It’s Hard Work! (twofrugalfairfielders.com)
- Redefining Success: The Value of Please and Thank You, Setting Limits and Non-negotiables (twofrugalfairfielders.com)
- Frugal and Green: The Values of Cutting Our Grass with a Reel Push Mower (twofrugalfairfielders.com)