"Do you have a way for your kids to earn money? Could you elaborate on that?"
There was a time when we paid our children an allowance of sorts. Each child had a calendar. Their consequence for a minor offense was an X on the day of the calendar. After 5 Xs in a day, they lost their privileges for the day. Each day they automatically earned 50 cents because they were part of our family. For each X they earned, 10 cents was subtracted from the day's totals. Every Friday dad would come home with cash and the children would total their charts and report to dad for payment.
This worked really well for a long time, but as with any chart system, it was not meant to last forever, so it finally fizzled.
There are many philosophies on paying children. I don't claim to have the right one, but I will share what I think about money. I don't like paying children for things that help run the home, because they live there too. I don't want them to think that every time they lift a finger is deserves a reward, or worse that they have some how just made a business transaction with the family for acting as part of the family.
I prefer to either help them think up business ideas and follow through with them, or have a list of chores (or a jar full) that I will pay certain amounts for. These jobs are to be done after regular work is done. They require initiative. I don't think anyone should be paid for anything unless they had to have discipline and initiative to accomplish the task. If I have to nag a child to do a chore that they wanted payment for, they just chose to make the chore "service" instead of "employment."
I want my children to learn how to be people that can work and know when to work. They need to see a job well done has a value, but a job done half way or not completed is worthless. Of course this also means that I need to example jobs well done too. :)
My 12 year old son mows lawns for people in the neighborhood. He found the clients himself and schedules time into his weeks to get them done. My son also goes to work for his dad. My husband owns his own plumbing business, so he takes Quinton to work with him as often as possible to teach him the trade as well as give Quin an opportunity to earn money.
My 10 year old daughter just completed a neighborhood playgroup business. Starting in April and ending this week, she was paid by mothers in the neighborhood, of children 4-6 years old, to plan and host a weekly playgroup. She charged $15 for the Spring session and $25 for the Summer session. She had 6 children at our home for 1.5 hours once a week. She also learned how to plan, prepare, and what kinds of crafts, activities and lessons the children liked best. She did a fantastic job and earned good money. An adult was always with her of course because of her age. She is a very mature girl though.
My daughter also does paperwork for pay for my husband's business. It is nice to have REAL work for the children to be a part of.
We also collected cans one year to earn money to buy sports equipment for baseball and softball. I told them that if they wanted to play on these teams as well as their other activities, they would need to buy the supplies they would need. My children earned $200 collecting aluminum cans. Finally, my husband MADE them quit, because he couldn't handle the messy garage any longer.
It is good for children to earn money. It teaches them so much and is great preparation for adult life. The trick is helping them find opportunities to earn money. Try to see what they really know well and then see if there is a need in the community for their talents.
Oh, another thing. My parents made me pay for all clothes and supplies I needed as soon as I turned 12. I am profoundly thankful that they did that. I have always understood the value of a dollar, how to save money and what a good deal is, because I got to learn the hard way when I was young. I also learned how to make work a priority.
When my son turned 12 we told him he now gets the same opportunity to financially take care of his desires and needs. He didn't get really excited about this, but I have already noticed maturity growing in him because he can't leech off of us anymore for new stuff. He also seems to take better care of his things lately and he has become a much harder worker. Hmmm....