A few days ago, as Judah and I put the stuffed animals away and made his bed, he looked at me with a sparkle in his eye....."Mommy! I have an idea! You could make me a chart with things for me to do and I could earn money!"
It was like a light bulb turned on in his head. He not only "got it", but he was super excited about it. So, we talked about this new idea of his. I asked him if he'd like to start doing some chores every day and earn a little money that he could save to buy something that he'd like. I promised him that I'd talk with Daddy and make a chart up for him that evening.
I write this stuff for me, so that I can remember sweet little milestones, like my son's first chore chart. His chart is super simple and this post is definitely not about how to make your child the most awesome chore chart. If you're looking for super impressive ideas, go search Pinterest. Here, you'll find that I'm just a Mom who makes her chore charts in Word, complete with old school clipart. Ha! Since he isn't reading yet, he can use the pictures to see what he needs to do. It works and it's gracing our fridge, as we speak.
So far, he's been totally excited about doing his "chores" everyday and earning his money. Of course, he helps with more around the house that what's on his list. This list is simply a few specific things that I knew he could do to start building his confidence in this new area.
The "chore chart" thing needs to be positive. I want him to feel inspired and confident, knowing that he's a capable boy and knowing that if he works hard and does what's right, he'll be rewarded.
At this point, he gets paid approx. a quarter every evening after dinner. Later, we'll move it to a weekly allowance, but I felt instant gratification would be encouraging for him at this point. A week is a long time to wait for your reward when you're 4. With his money, he'll be able to spend some of it, save some of it and tithe a portion as well.
One thing I'm learning as a Mom is to not rush these things. A month ago, he wouldn't have been interested in doing this, but now he totally gets it. He wants to do what's on his list and he's already starting to remember without being asked. I love this stuff.