My kid said she wanted a swimming puppy or something like that. Our new thing is that if she wants something then she has to earn it.
Today she said she wanted the swimming puppy. I asked her how she is going to get it. She said she needs to pay for it. I asked her how she expects to pay for it and she said she has to earn it...
So what is a good chore or something that I can give to her so that she can earn it?
Let me relay a little story. When my first child was three I bought him a fish tank with gold fish. My only requirement was that he had to feed the fish once a day with Mommy. He was soo excited that he had his own job to do. One morning I woke up and as I walked past the fish tank I noticed that it was very cloudy and all the fish had died. I asked my son if he put anything in it besides fish food. He said, "Mommy, I shared my gogurt."
Got any landscaping needing done? Gutters cleared? Rooms painted?
The suggestions thus far have been excellent.
As you well know, at 4 years old it has to be simple. A 4 year old is perfectly capable, though, of taking a feather duster and dusting around the house, helping you (or Dad) with dinner or bringing in the mail. If it's still warm where you live, you might even want to consider setting up a lemonade stand for her outside. Lots of little kids around here do that in the summer.
AW thanks! One more question. How long should I continue the simple chore until she has earned enough for the toy?
A week, two weeks?
two weeks is too long when you are small.
Depends on the price of the toy. If it's really pricey, this could get tricky. As Cosette alluded to, they're pretty impatient and have shorter attention spans. But my advice? If you tell her she's got to earn it, then make her earn every last penny of it. There are a whole bunch of lessons she can learn here besides just earning money for a toy!
The key here is to give her the $$ immediately after she earns it. I would put it in a glass jar very prominently out in the kitchen or living room where she can view it. And not sure how she is with her numbers, but you might want to make up some kind of chart. So let's say the toy is $5.00. That's 20 quarters. So make up 20 blocks and every time she earns a quarter, cross a block off.
okay. I looked up how much this toy is. geeze!!! It's 30 bucks. I like your thoughts here Ihoner.
30$/7days is ??? 4.25'ish a day. That's a lot of work. I wonder... what about 5 chores a day for a buck a piece for 7 days? Then if she doesn't complete any of the chores she doesn't get the buck and the week continues until she has completed 30 chores.
Here's an idea. I did this once with one of my kids when they wanted a $200 American Girl doll. She can do chores to earn the money (a buck a chore). But she can also take one of her current toys and donate it to charity and that would equal whatever you say the toy is worth. So if she donates a McDonalds freebie, that's only worth one chore/one buck. If she donates a fav doll, that's 5 chores (or 5 bucks) -- making the numbers up, but you get the gist.
You are the ultimate accountant, since you know how hard it is for her to part with her individual things, so you can tell her what each individual toy is worth towards the new toy. But it's another valuable lesson for her to learn, and can open up some conversations between you guys -- albeit simple conversations! Just make sure that you drive her directly to Salvation Army, Goodwill or homeless shelter, and let her physically donate the toy herself.
i would give her the Swiffer duster and ask her to dust the baseboards.
another chore would be putting away all the spoons, or helping mommy sort laundry (hand towels, socks, little things like that).
make her bed when she gets out of it.....
stand on a chair and wash the dishes
Clean her shoes
Brush mummy's hair for her, for ages so it is relaxing
Feed the animals if you have any
Wow guys, your suggestions are really good. So what about a different chore every day for a week?
You might get her to change the brakes on my wife's car, I ain't gonna do it!
I love the ideas presented. She can help you empty the dish washer. Separate or fold the laundry with your guidance. Water the plants. A different chore every day would be a good way for her to learn. Depending on how much the toy costs, you could divide the cost by the number of chores and pay that amount for each one. Have fun!
Isn't she kind of young to understand the concept of earning money at 4? (Can you tell that I don't have kids of my own).
I think the better question would be is she old enough to handle the responsibility of a puppy. If she can, that's great and she would learn how to care for her pet.
I dont think a child is ever too young to earn the concept of saving and earning. She will probably grow up to be a very productive member of society. Kudos to you guys for dong this and yes just keep it on her level.
Im just guessing but I think a water puppy is a toy and not a real puppy.
Thanks for clearing that up. Okay, she's 4, isn't she going to ask for something else tomorrow?
She may even surprise everyone and when she sees her money decide she just wants to save it. My niece is 7 and wants to go to disneyland. My sister doesnt have a lot of money but told her that if she saves her share they would go.
In just shy of a year she has saved about 600 and hasnt lost interest. My sister is going to let her continue saving until after winter and then kick in the rest.
Little minds are a lot smarter than we give them credit for.
Oh I agree that the mind of a 4-year old shouldn't be underestimated, but there's a difference between a 4-yr old and a 7-yr old. There's time enough for the tot to grow and find out she has to earn a living, I just thought 4 was kind of young.
I think this has more to do with a 4 year old learning the value of money and things -- not making a living.
Thats cool and you certainly are entitled to that opinion and you may even be right but there is definatly no harm in finding out.
Im sure mom and dad are going to monitor it closely and see how she reacts.
IDK Sandy, I may be wrong, but I don't think she has to "earn" anything at that age.
I didn't think so until she said to me the other day, "Mommy, you can just go the the store and get another one for me." (to replace the toy she broke)
She didn't ask and she wasn't even polite about it. Then she threw a fit because she couldn't have it. Then I knew it was time for her to learn a new lesson.
It is not only about earning things, it's about gratitude and responsibility and helping her learn to take care of her things. I don't want to be hard knox Mom but she does need to learn this and she is plenty smart enough to begin to understand it.
Well, she certainly learned that day that cherished things can't always be easily replaced. Good for you.
As I said I can be wrong Sandy, but having 5.5 and 3 I do think they don't really understand the concept at this age, and this is going to be a kind of waste of time and effort. but again, I may be wrong of course. You tell me when you try
They're never too young to be exposed to lessons on appreciation and gratitude.
lol, it is a toy. So I got a cup that I told her is for the money she will earn towards her puppy and gave her, her first task for $1.00.
She has to peel the stickers off her bed. She totally understands the math and understands the dollar will go towards her toy.
Right now she is sniffling because it will take more than a second to complete. lol
I might make the "chores" apply to her getting the chance to talk about, think about, and "show you" the things that make a "good mother" to a puppy.
I might do something like set aside a plant for her to water and say something like, "Puppies need food and water, and you need to be able to give them just the right amount. If you can put this much water in the plant every day when the clock says, x-o'clock, until this day on the calendar (mark it with an x), you'll earn x for the puppy fund."
Or something like, "With a puppy around the house you can't leave little stuff or toys that he could eat. If, every night, you could look around the house for anything on the floor that a puppy could eat, get sick on, or ruin; and put it where it belongs; I'll put x amount in the puppy fund on Friday." (I wouldn't string this kind of "program" along for weeks and weeks on end - maybe a week, to help her have her way of earning while also being aware of "responsibilities" when puppies are around, and letting her see herself in a care-taking role.)
I might even do something like, "There are some things you need to know about taking good of a puppy and being very kind and gentle. If you can learn these six things about how to be a good friend to a puppy, you can earn x." (I'd keep the "rules" simple like, "Never push his back down" "How to pick up a puppy" "Puppies need to be patted and talked gentle to." -that kind of thing.)
You are Sooooooo Funny Sandra
Being the Boss (Payer) to a Four year old is all about adventure;
Everything that you put to her; she will think that you are really great for thinking up.
Everything that we put to you; she will think that you are really great for thinking up.
Everything that we put to you; we do so becoz; we think you're really great for asking!
But..... When she is 15... You'll have to sort it yourself.
lol, I don't even think that far ahead yet. But she earned her fist buck and she thought it was the greatest thing in the world.
Then she goes, "okay let's go get it now." I was like, "um no you have to earn 29 more of those." The look on her face was priceless.
Flightkeeper, I think the issue is that you haven't had kids. Little ones are like sponges -- they soak in knowledge. So by Sandra turning this into a lesson about whatever -- responsibility, earning, privileges -- she is SO doing the right thing.
My kids started chores around 4 years old. My daughter attended Montessori school and they learn by doing.
Simple chores at first, but I never paid them. For us it was teaching them about responsibility and respect for the home we lived in.
We rarely bought them new toys outside of Christmas or birthdays.
Teaching them the concept of earning money also goes along with teaching the concept about being responsible for money.
My kids use to get money for Christmas, birthdays, etc., guess what, neither wanted to part with that money to buy a toy until they were much older than 4, my oldest is very frugal. My youngest, hard as I try, needs to spend that birthday money right now
NO WAY, Jane! All 3 of my kids attended Montessori as well!!! All is well is the land of Montessori-sisterhood!
I think a lot of adults under-estimate kids at this age. Big time. And I really learned all about it through Montessori. As a matter of fact, my two daughters plan on opening a Montessori school in about 5 years.
He-he. My both are in Montessori. Never heard of their use of money to motivate kids over there
Silly Misha, it's about learning how to learn at Montessori. That was Maria Montessori's focus back in the 50's and it still is today. So young'uns are quite capable of learning a lot more than we give them credit for -- and that includes money, my dear!
(Oh, and I guess that means a Montessori-sisterhood/brotherhood as well!)
Montessori provides a wonderful education! I wish your daughter's great success.
I learned so much from the Montessori teaching & watched the children flourish.
Sisterhood of the Montessori Moms - sweet!
This is the sweetest thread! Sandra, you must feel chuffed to have so many friends on here who love kids, and recognize how bloody clever 4 year olds are. I love all the suggestions, and especially liked the input from flightkeeper, who although perhaps not fully understanding at first, would make a good parent. Questioning on behalf of the child is a very loving way to think.
I wish that too Earnest. I do feel pretty lucky to be in contact with other people who love kids and have experience with them too.
It certainly makes parenting a little easier when getting advice from others who have been down the road before. Like the person who shared about their kid and the fish. That was soo cute!
I know they are a heap of work but nobody else can fill your heart so many times in one day as a child can!
This is a great lesson of life to teach your children. I would have her do a simple chore for a week or whatever like, keep her room picked up and make her bed every day. You know something easy to do but also easy to forget to do. Have her do it for a week straight.
She should do things which lead to her improving some facet of her life, like self discipline for example. Have her put away her clean clothes in her room, and keep the room tiday maybe? It will pay off down the line.
It can be very tricky. No matter what you do, you are teaching your children something. I have been experimenting with this for a while now. I have a 5yo, a 4yo, a 2yo, and an infant. I started out giving them an allowance. But then I read a book by Dave Ramsey that said that allowances teach falsely that allowances must be made for them, teaching them to feel entitled. I found that to be true, so I followed Dave Ramsey's advice and now give them commissions. I then proceeded to give them a quarter for every chore they did. Picking up toys, helping set table, sweeping with the Swiffer sweeper (for what it was worth), etc. I discovered that then they demanded payment anytime they lifted a pretty little finger. They learn expectations quickly. I'd ask them to pass the butter, and they would hold out their pudgy little hands for a quarter. So now, I require them to do certain things, homework, pick up their toys, dirty clothes to laundry room. But anything extra they get quarters for. My five year old is ambitious. She earns quickly and spends very little. She gives generously at church. She is proud of her money. My four year old has little interest in earning, and he spends all his money on bubble gum. I think it is more about personality rather than the small age difference. But either way, they learn a lot. And both my 5yo and my 4yo share with their 2yo sister. It comes from the heart, but I still see them tell her "you're going to have to help me pick up toys when we get home." Now they can teach her what I have been teaching them.
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