Elementary School Kids

Help me help DS to understand.
January 3, 2013 at 10:50 AM

My oldest just turned 8. I have never really made him do any "chores".

He has always been an animal lover. Every time the ASPCA commercial comes on he cries because he feels awful for the animals. There have been many times that I have quickly turned the channel because he cries everytime! Love his heart! I always reassure him that the ASPCA is there to help those animals. Lately he has been asking to join. Things are not super tight in our household and we could afford the $18 a month to support the ASPCA. I got to thinking though and thought I could turn this into a learning experience for my DS. I thought he could do a few chores around the house and his allowance could be used to support the ASPCA. Chores being - pick up shoes, hang up his coat and backpack, put plate away after dinner, etc. When I brought this up to DS last night he immediately did not like the idea. His excuse was that this was a family thing and not just for him.

I still think this would be a great learning experience for DS and teach him to work for something he is passionate about. Am I totally off my rocker?

Anyone have any words of wisdom to offer me to better explain why this would be a good learning experience for him?



  • mamawolf1103
    January 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    My DD is 6 and starting at christmas we did some things for charity such as an angel tree gift and putting money in the Salvation army buckets. She takes a part of her chore moneya nd has a give, a save, and a spend jor. We used her money for the angel tree ( we made up the difference) and she would put change inthe buckets when we saw one. For kids who are pretty self centered it is a hrd lesson, but she is starting to get that there are others who need help.

  • la_bella_vita
    January 3, 2013 at 5:22 PM

     Good idea

  • AliKatAK47
    January 3, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    He should have had to do chores from the beginning. He is not going to want to work to support someone else. No one does.  He just wants to help animals. Animal Shelters are always looking for volunteers. Take him down there and have him pet a few of the dogs (of course if they let you). That helps more than you think. It lets the dogs feel some human companionship and they need it. 

  • sexymamma20
    January 3, 2013 at 6:31 PM

     My 8 year old does a fundraiser every year for a different charity. She started this when she was 5. This year she did a locks for love drive she even cut 12 inches off her own hair. Last year she collected supplies for the animal shelter. I think its a great idea to get children involved in charities. My dd loves that she gets to help others. She is already starting to plan another fundraiser and her locks of love just ended yesterday.  

  • sucker4myloves
    January 3, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    I like this idea, giving him an allowance ONLY when he does household chores (nothing too strenuous of course) and divvying up his earnings. Gonna file that away for when my boy is older!

    Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

    Its a great idea...however, all the things you mentioned are things he should be responsible for on his own as part of taking care of and cleaning up after himself. Keeping his stuff picked up is his job.

    IMO chores should benefit the family. What I say to my kids is I pay them for things that should be my job as a SAHM. Taking out the trash, scrubbing floors, cleaning bathrooms, taking care of family pets, housework, etc.

    If you are going to do this as a lesson, I would have him use a percentage of his allowance and cover the rest. $18 a month is a lot for a chid, I would split it...say $5 a week for chores, make a list post it and mark them off as done. (Mine get 50c credit each time they do a chore) for a max of $5 for the week, then on pay day divide it up ~ $1 goes to savings, $2 to ASPCA and $2 to spend, just like you makeahousehold budget.

  • starbeck96
    January 3, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    I agree that it is a great way for your son to learn how to earn money for things he is passionate about.  But, I also agree that 18.00 a month for him to give away is a lot.

    My boys are 14 and my daughter is 6.  They all have to pick up after themselves as this is just expected.  The other stuff is what I consider chores.  My boys, since they are older and want to do more, are expected to do more to help out.  They wash dishes two times each per week, sweep the kitchen once each per week, do one load of laundry per week (they are about to be responsible for their own laundry).  They clean the main bathroom once per week. They help me clean my bathroom once per week since they use it also.  They also cut grass when necessary (they earn an extra 20.00 each for this).  They also vacuum the living room twice each per week.  There are a few more things that they do.  We are going to implement a new allowance.  We have never given an allowance, but we feel like that they can learn to be more responsible by having one.  My boys will get 100.00 each per month, if they do all their chores.  They got a cell phone for Christmas so they are going to be responsible for their cell phone bill, which is about 50.00 per month (50% of their money).  They will give 10% tithes, 20% savings, and 5% charity/missions, and 15% spending money. 

    My daughter will earn 20.00 per month if all of her chores are done.  She will give the same percentages to things as her brothers.  She is responsible for keeping her room clean, picking up toys, picking up her clothes, folding towels, putting her clothes up, taking other clothes to the right room, dusting in the living room once per week.  She also helps me clean out from under the couch cushions once a month and out from under the couches.  This month she is going to start sweeping the kitchen once per week and wiping down the bathroom sink everyday with homemade cleaning wipes. 

    My husband and I did not have this growing up.  We have struggled and still struggle at times to make ends meet.  We want our kids to know how to handle money.  I was never taught how to budget money. 

    We Homeschool so that is why they are expected to do more.  Since there are 4 of us home all the time it takes all 4 of us working together to keep things in order.  All of their chores usually end up taking about 30 minutes-an hour per day.  We have set times for chores also.

    Starting this month each of the kids are going to be responsible for helping me cook one meal. Of course the boys will be able to do more since they are older, but my daughter loves to help me cook.

    I agree that if you can find him a place to volunteer that would be better.  If not, then I agree with some of the others, to let him use a certain percentage of his allowance to put towards buying things that the local animal shelters may need.  They can use it much more than the aspca.

  • aimhawk
    by aimhawk
    January 3, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Your not off your rocker. My 5 year old already does those things, though. She donates her used toys and clothes that no longer fit to a family we know and to a homeless shelter. She is pretty awesome about it. She tries to do the dishes, but I won't let her yet.

    Tell him since he isn't old enough to work to pay for the ASPCA that this could be his job to help him save the animals. And really it isn't too much to ask him to pick up after himself.

  • Basherte
    January 4, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    Quoting tristansmom74:

    I have a better idea. He is old enogh to donate time to your local animal shelter and will do more good that way. If you have the money by all means donate. But most of that money goes to pay for that horrid commercial and pay saleries. Give time to the shelter and you will know that you did some real good.
    Chores he should learn anyway. Mine getts allowance by collecting cans and turning them in. Or picking up trash outside, or doing chores for neighbors.

    I agree with this and when I started reading this post was almost sure that this is where you were going to go. The stuff that you mentioned about being chores, is something that I would consider him taking care of himself and not chore worthy stuff. He should be doing that anyway. 

    And I agree with him, if he feels that this is a family thing and not just something that he wanted to do for himself, then the chore and him paying for the donation himself doesn't mesh. But if he really feels that strongly about helping animals because he doesn't like to see them in pain, then the animal shelter would be a really good idea. He spends time with animals that he loves and helps out which is what he wants. Most of the shows on tv that are asking for money don't give even 20% of what they get to the actual charity. They have to pay the people to take the phone calls and pay for the advertisements. That adds up to a lot of money. 

    Kudos to him for wanting to help animals though. A very worthy cause. Especially at 8 when a lot of kids are just worried about what presents they will get next. He is worried about animals that are being mistreated.

  • JoanahLee
    January 4, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    At 8 he should be putting his own shoes and backpack away, carrying his plate to the sink etc just because, not for a bribe or monetary reward.  I would get him pulling his weight first and then add special things that are over and above like washing the car, running the vacuum or other 'big' chores to reward with extra money. 

    At what age will he be expected to put his own shoes away? 

    January 4, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    I think it is a great idea. I also think that you had better get your child doing chores ASAP, he needs the responsibility and the sense of accomplishment from helping out. Your idea here is a terrific and meaningful way to ease into that.

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