We started paying the kids a commission a few months ago. Each week they are responsible for 3 jobs, each worth $0.25. Plus we give them $0.25 of an allowance that is not earned, but granted because we love them.
It's interesting how this has changed the dialogue on their chores. Saturday is inspection day, when they earn the quarters for doing their laundry and cleaning their room. I just barely paid them at 8:30 because that was when the laundry was finally done. I don't like to pay them until all the jobs are as done as they can be.
M's idea of cleaning her room today was to pick everything off the floor, cram it into baskets and deposit it on the couch. She told me "Mama, come see my room! It looks like it is vacuumed! It looks like a hotel room!" Lovely! So we spent a lot of time sorting through that and restoring order. It is harder for her because she shares a room with lP. I try to not hold her responsible for lP's mess. So I help with lP's mess and M does the rest.
G is finding that it's nice having a clean room. He doesn't tear his closet apart so often now. He's folding his clothes neatly into the dresser instead of cramming them in.
lP's sole goal in life is to get a quarter so she can buy a gum ball. I'm going to show her next week that at Publix she can get 3 candies for her quarter.
The kids have always been pretty helpful. I know I ask them to do a lot more, and younger, than many parents. I have this goal of not feeling resentful that my kids never help out. And I want them to grow up knowing how to be responsible for their mess.
And sometimes they don't do the job, and they don't get paid. That's a pretty important lesson too. And it's a very nice stick too.
M kept saying she had done her laundry but every time (5+) there were still items of hers on the floor or on lP's bed.
And their trash/recycling jobs happen in the middle of the week. So it's not just payday that work gets done. Laundry and rooms sort of build up until the weekend. Baby steps...
But I feel like I'm a lot more willing to help them do this cleaning because they are learning to be responsible, and do a job. So when I help them, I'm helping them toward grander goals, which feels a lot different.