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What would be a good way for a 4 year old to earn money?

  1. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 7 years ago

    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? 

    Thanks,
    Sandra

    1. profile image58
      J. A. Ragnacciposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      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."

      1. Precious Pearl profile image83
        Precious Pearlposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Oh, how cute!  I am sorry that his pet fish died but that is a mommy story for the books if I ever heard one.  Just Precious!!

    2. darkside profile image79
      darksideposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Got any landscaping needing done? Gutters cleared? Rooms painted?

      Just kidding.

      The suggestions thus far have been excellent.

  2. lrohner profile image84
    lrohnerposted 7 years ago

    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.

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      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?

      1. profile image0
        cosetteposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        one week.

        two weeks is too long when you are small.

      2. lrohner profile image84
        lrohnerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        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! smile

        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.

        1. profile image0
          sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          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.

          1. lrohner profile image84
            lrohnerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            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.

  3. profile image0
    cosetteposted 7 years ago

    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).

  4. profile image0
    \Brenda Scullyposted 7 years ago

    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

  5. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 7 years ago

    Wow guys, your suggestions are really good.  So what about a different chore every day for a week?  smile

    1. rebekahELLE profile image91
      rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      how about asking her some chores she thinks she would like to do to earn her $~~ let her think of 3 different chores and then let her make the decision~~ put it in her hands and she'll feel so important. smile

  6. profile image0
    A Texanposted 7 years ago

    You might get her to change the brakes on my wife's car, I ain't gonna do it!

  7. Precious Pearl profile image83
    Precious Pearlposted 7 years ago

    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!

  8. Flightkeeper profile image78
    Flightkeeperposted 7 years ago

    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.

    1. Dale Mazurek profile image60
      Dale Mazurekposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      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.

      1. Flightkeeper profile image78
        Flightkeeperposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks for clearing that up.  Okay, she's 4, isn't she going to ask for something else tomorrow?

        1. Dale Mazurek profile image60
          Dale Mazurekposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          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.

          1. Flightkeeper profile image78
            Flightkeeperposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            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.

            1. lrohner profile image84
              lrohnerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              I think this has more to do with a 4 year old learning the value of money and things -- not making a living.

            2. Dale Mazurek profile image60
              Dale Mazurekposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              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.

  9. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 7 years ago

    IDK Sandy, I may be wrong, but I don't think she has to "earn" anything at that age. smile

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      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. smile  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. smile

      1. Flightkeeper profile image78
        Flightkeeperposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Well, she certainly learned that day that cherished things can't always be easily replaced.  Good for you.

      2. Misha profile image75
        Mishaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        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 smile

        1. darkside profile image79
          darksideposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          They're never too young to be exposed to lessons on appreciation and gratitude.

          1. Misha profile image75
            Mishaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Lessons can be structured differently, and I tend to think that arbitrary pay is not the best structure to get the message across, cause it likely to have some unintended side effects, because it is arbitrary. smile

  10. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 7 years ago

    lol, it is a toy. smile  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. smile  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

    1. Davinagirl3 profile image60
      Davinagirl3posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I think it is great that you are starting early to teach your child the value of a dollar.  You get the "Great Mommy" award for today.

  11. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    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.  smile

    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.)

  12. Pearldiver profile image86
    Pearldiverposted 7 years ago

    You are Sooooooo Funny Sandra lol
    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! lol
    But..... When she is 15... You'll have to sort it yourself. lol

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      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. smile

      1. earnestshub profile image87
        earnestshubposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        We want a photo of that face! smile I wish we all had built in automatic cameras for all those moments. smile

  13. lrohner profile image84
    lrohnerposted 7 years ago

    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.

  14. Jane@CM profile image60
    Jane@CMposted 7 years ago

    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 smile

    1. lrohner profile image84
      lrohnerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      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.

      1. Misha profile image75
        Mishaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        He-he. My both are in Montessori. Never heard of their use of money to motivate kids over there tongue

        1. lrohner profile image84
          lrohnerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          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!)

      2. Jane@CM profile image60
        Jane@CMposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        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!

  15. earnestshub profile image87
    earnestshubposted 7 years ago

    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. smile

  16. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 7 years ago

    I wish that too Earnest.  smile  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. smile  Like the person who shared about their kid and the fish.  That was soo cute!

    1. earnestshub profile image87
      earnestshubposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      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! smile

      1. profile image0
        sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Now that is a TRUTH! smile

        1. Misha profile image75
          Mishaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          RAmen tongue

  17. wesleycox profile image82
    wesleycoxposted 7 years ago

    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.

  18. facebookchat profile image60
    facebookchatposted 7 years ago

    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.

  19. janddplus4 profile image61
    janddplus4posted 7 years ago

    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.

  20. Pr0metheus profile image60
    Pr0metheusposted 7 years ago

    Sellin' rocks!

    (LOL jk)

 
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