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Tittle Tales

To Work Or Not To Work… The Kids’ View

By Amy Tittle

A couple weeks ago as we were driving into the dreaded Super Wal-Mart in Oxford, my 8 year old daughter and I had a very teachable conversation, those of which I love to take advantage of and try to put to use my life lessons and biblical parenting skills.  She inquired about a toy that she wanted to buy when we got there. So she started telling me how much money she had in her piggy bank. She asked if I knew how much the toy was that she wanted and I replied “yes, it is $4.00”; she then realized that she did not have enough money. Within a breath second she looked at me with very big eyes and exclaimed, “I really need to start loosing some teeth!”
When I finally was able to catch my breath after laughing so hard, I began to think about how kids often times view earning money. Even though my husband and I have drawn up daily responsibilities for the kids and optional jobs to choose from, to her loosing teeth was the fastest and easiest (laziest) way to getting the money she needed to get her prized toy.
A couple years ago we designed a daily responsibilities list for each of our kids and we hang them up in the house where the kids can see them and they know what’s expected of them on a daily basis. We call this list “chores.” They are not paid for these daily responsibilities; these are tasks in which they are responsible for doing in order to help our home stay somewhat organized and run more smoothly. We feel these daily chores teach them to help out or “pull their load” in the home and have responsibility for something solely of their own. It also helps teach them to care for a home whether the chores are on the outside in the yard, or the inside doing dishes. Our hope is that this helps them see the importance of caring for their home for their family and being a good steward of what God has blessed them with.
 However, my husband and I decided to create a list of jobs in which they could earn money for themselves, since we do not pay them for their chores. These jobs are sometimes listed, but mostly verbal. We tell them how much the job is worth and what we are paying for it to be done. It is at that point up to the kids if they want to choose to work and earn the money. You see, we want them to learn that when they choose to work they are paid for it, and that it’s a good choice and they are able to see the result. No one makes us earn money as adults, we want to because of the benefit, yes, most of us probably learned this as we grew up, but Matt and I are wanting to teach ours a little early so they are able to see the fruit early on that work produces through our daily lives and the structure of our home. And yes, eventually after she saved up all of her money, she went and bought her toy, even though I encouraged her to keep saving her money.

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