Monday, 22 July 2013

Earning your way...

My pal Lu, over at A Family Affair is talking about what she can possibly give her youngest in the way of chores-to-earn-a-bit-of-pocket money. Like me, she has two kids who are pretty much grown up, and a younger one who still needs a lot of parental input. Giving him chores is not always as easy as it sounds.

My ten year old, despite the fact that he seems to have more money than me, is also angling for chores. For some reason, he wants to clean the windows. Not quite sure why, unless he's looked at them up close, but that can only end in tears - and not because our house has four floors! Last time he cleaned the basement windows he seemed to have used some combination of furniture polish and washing-up liquid. Took me weeks to get the streaks off. I don't clean them that often, but when I do they are bloody well streak free.

I could suggest he washes my car, but as Lu reminded me, that means hiding all the Brillo pads beforehand. It also means setting the hose up, finding a bucket and sponges that don't do any damage to the paintwork. This car (so far) is free of teenage dents and I intend to keep it that way for as long as possible. (There - jinxed it.)

The Man-Child (who desperately needs a new nickname) is about to embark on a week's worth of full-time work which will also render him richer than me. Given that he has just lost/damaged-beyond-repair my car keys, I am wondering whether to ask him to hand over his pay check/cheque as soon as he gets it.  (Long story involving a rock festival, a mosh pit and a poorly attached key which somehow fell onto the ground and got stomped on. Or so he says.) It's one of those remote car keys, that every car has these days. Did you know Volvo keys cost $300 (200 quid) to replace? Well, you do now.  Seriously, who thinks to check the cost of a replacement key when buying a car? (You might want to check the replacement cost of your car keys and take out insurance, pronto.)

Anyway, despite the fact that I'm always complaining of the growing to-do list in our house, I'm scratching my head to come up with kid-friendly chores. Anyone?


  1. Vacuuming. Dusting. BASEBOARDS (God, I hate doing those - I'll pay anyone to come do mine). Loading/unloading the dishwasher. The bathrooms. The list is endless - the only thing you need to remember is that they aren't going to do it perfect nor exactly as you'd do it; but the key is "you didn't have to do it!"

  2. I wanted to reply to this yesterday, but I was sure I would sound rude. Came back and re-read it today, and I still get the same response in my head.
    You mums must live in an immaculate house if you can not find chores for kids!
    I could name 32 in my living room alone!
    My only other guess is that maybe you think there are some things that they cant do well enough yet. That's fine, let them have a go. They will get better! Nothing has ever gotten dirtier by wiping or more crumbed by hoovering!
    In a pinch 'find ten things in your room that you think we could get rid of and bring them to me' (hey, even lint counts!
    (if you seriously need suggestions I will blog about it, LMAO!

  3. Detroitmom - Believe me, there's a ton to be done in the house, but most of it requires balancing on ladders, using chemicals that might harm him (paint-stripping), and generally stuff that I have to get involved in to make sure things don't go pear-shaped.
    Also - and I didn't make this clear in the blog, I don't believe in paying my kids for stuff they should be doing anyway. So, emptying the dishwasher, keeping their rooms clean, putting their stuff away - not getting paid.

  4. Re the Volvo key fob and key: Yes, I knew that! LOL I am on my third Volvo, and when we got the first one, lo these many years past, I was warned before leaving the dealership that the key replacements have to come from Sweden or some such thing at extortionate cost. So I was strictly adjured not to lose the danged key. So far, so good.

  5. He is now cleaning my car and so far I've had to fill the bucket with water and start again (because it too hot), carry the bucket out to the car, unwind the hose, look for a stepladder because he can't reach the top of the car (which is the dirtiest part), ,,,and he hasn't even started yet. LOL

  6. Thanks for all the advice but I like Expatmum expect my kids to do jobs like emptying the dishwasher as matter of course and not something I would pay them for - have you seen my house? So not immaculate - far from it and millions of jobs to do all the time - just not significant ones to pay them for - agreed - doing the windows might just earn them some money - but trust me, they would indeed make them worse than they were before.

    Maybe a sale of crap outside the house? Only thing is they would be selling my old underpants or jewellery or something inappropriately wrong......Lx

    Keep the suggestions coming though - we'll find something in the end - maybe a child swap???

  7. LOL! This is why I think your houses are cleaner than mine! How about things not normally cleaned? (at least in my house!)
    Take all the trash cans outside and scrub them
    Hoover the couch/furniture
    Wipe off both sides of every door
    Take everything out of my cupbords/freezer and make a list of what i have because i don't have a clue
    Put way all these cd's that Manboy and I pile up and then organize the cases that are falling out of the damn shelves because we are slobs...
    That sort of thing!
    (actually, now that I type that out...maybe everyone's house is cleaner than mine!)

  8. I like scrubbing trash cans. That sounds like something that can't go wrong.
    (My car ended up rather clean and sparkly by the way!)

  9. Yea! (I would never let mine clean the Land Rover Defender. (Her name is Matilda).
    You are braver than me!
    Let them scrub the trash cans!
    My kids seem to have fun with this particular chore. All it takes is some Fairy and a bit of vinegar and elbow grease. And maybe a hose. But you are in the USA and can afford the water ;)

  10. Scrub the trash cans - hmmm. That so does relate to clean out the rubbish bins in the UK and I'm liking that one - what could go wrong?



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