“Money off the Ground”

We decided to start giving Joanna (age 3 1/2) an allowance. She’ll get $1 every week. However, she also has to do a few age-appropriate chores in order to get her money. Kirk and I, being structured organizers, made up a system and a chart. The chart contains columns for each day of the week (except Sunday) and rows for each of her chores: making her bed, cleaning up her room, and clearing her dirty dishes off the table. Stickers go in the boxes of chores completed. Today it all fell apart. I was struggling to get her to do a small part of picking up her toys. I was getting angry, she was feeling overwhelmed. I reminded her that if she didn’t clean up she wouldn’t get part of her allowance for that job. She said, “I’d rather just get money off the ground,” referring to when we find change on the ground.

Wow, pretty insightful for a little kid. Wouldn’t we all rather just pick up money from the ground instead of having to work for it? And yet, there is value and honor and a sense of self-worth that we get from working.

You’ll be happy to know that we have taken a more “grace-filled” approach to the allowance, focusing more on her heart attitude toward helping out around the house now that she is a big girl.