Earning money and learning about its value is an important life lesson for kids, and traditionally they earn their first dollars in exchange for completing household tasks. But kids tend to run for the hills at the mention of the words ‘clean your room,’ so it got us thinking about other ways to reward little ones with pocket money, while taking on suitable responsibility and even improving their skills.
Do something to help a sibling
I know. Getting siblings to do things for each other that don’t involve rivalry, destruction and a good dose of fury is no mean feat. But by including this in a pocket money reward scheme, it could be the incentive they need to call a truce. From assisting younger ones getting dressed in the morning to carrying one of big brother’s six bags to the car, there are many ways that siblings can lend a helping hand – and free up one of mum’s!
Be on time
Punctuality is something kids can take a while to grasp. By rewarding them for regularly being on time throughout the week, it may just help the habit to stick. Kids who can’t yet tell the time can still respond to cues and follow the lead of older siblings.
From an early age kids can understand what tasks are involved in their daily operation, yet many are quite willing to palm them off to mum or dad to take care of. By incentivising regular organisation, such as packing their own school bags or making their beds, little ones can start to take responsibility for their possessions and themselves.
Care for a plant or veggie patch
This is a great way for kids to develop an appreciation for where our food comes from, and to take responsibility for nurturing it.
Help with meal planning for the week
‘What will we have for dinner for tonight?’ Yep. We all say it, usually to ourselves. But there’s no reason why kids can’t help to plan the week’s evening meals. By requesting a meal or two each, compromising and accepting that green jelly isn’t dinner food, this could help limit dinner time complaints, and save you multiple trips to the shops during the week.
Be a sous chef!
While we’re on the subject of meals, even young kids can help in some small way when it comes to cooking. It could be as simple as gathering ingredients from the pantry or washing fruit and vegetables.
Go one step further with school work or undertake a special project
Kids could pick a subject they are enjoying at school and learn more about it. Others, who would rather do anything but more school work, could delve into another area of interest. This may involve sitting with your child at the computer as they research topics, or visiting a library.
By setting up your child’s own bank account and helping them to allocate savings, either through online banking or physical visits to a branch, they can start to appreciate the value of saving, and learn to control their spending.
Donate to a charity or cause
Even donating small amounts can help children to learn the importance of helping others in need.
For the kids who never sit still this is probably a no brainer, but there are others who will always opt for screen time over fresh air and physical activity. Regular exercise is vital for kids’ health and by adding to their reward scheme we just might see more bodies moving.