I have a friend who has nine, yes nine lovely children. I remember years ago asking her how she got her kids to do chores and her advice was that you make a "chore plan," introduce it to the family, do it for awhile, watch it lose momentum, then lather, rinse, and repeat. She said the main thing was to realize that starting a new plan is not an admission of failure, it's just part of the parenting gig.
In that spirit, here's the new plan we're trying at our house.
I call it, (musical fanfare please) The Money Tree.
Like my nicely organized paper center?
The plan is for the smalls to track their chores on the kitchen chalk board and at the end of each week they can pluck their allowance off of the money tree.
Some parents are against allowance...as in "why would we pay you to participate in being part of the family?" Or as my dad used to put it when I asked about allowance, "Do you like living here?"
Marc and I totally agree that kids really shouldn't be paid to do stuff around the house, but it turns out we were giving them all our money anyway, and at least this way they have to do some work before we fork it over. It motivates them and helps us feel better about never having cash.
Also, Marc likes saying "money tree." It makes him chuckle to himself.
Also, also, the older girls' allowance is fairly substantial. We are hoping to teach them some budgeting skills and whatnot so we're letting them manage their own clothing, entertainment and sundries funds.
In the end, I imagine this won't last terribly long, but, you know, it's a plan.