Memorial Day / Giving our Kids More Responsibility


As our hearts grieve for the families in Texas right now who were affected by the tragedy, I wanted to share a very helpful video with you by Sissy Goff, A Christian Counselor – about how to talk to your kids about what happened and what we can do. Our hearts are with you and we are praying for you.


For the life of me, I cannot remember who said this to me – just that she was a mom of grown kids. The mom wasn’t saying she wish she’d been there less for her kids, but that she wish she had given her kids more responsibility as they were growing up so they would have been more self-sufficient. Isn’t that one of our goals as parents?

To prepare them for the real world the best we can. To help them become mature adults, so they are ready to fly when they leave our homes. I think many times we don’t give our kids enough credit for what they are capable of doing.

It can so easily happen… It’s easier for us to do the dishes, clear the table, clean the floor so we don’t have them clean up. We do it ourselves. They learn that someone does it for them. We clean their rooms – they learn that they don’t have to. We step in to solve their problems instead of letting them gain confidence by learning they can solve it themselves. There are such subtle ways that we can tend to do too much for our kids. 

I’m not saying we can’t do any of the above, but when our kids have an active role in things like cleaning up after meals, cleaning their rooms, initiating problem solving to name a few examples, they learn how to do it, see they are capable, and are less likely to feel entitled and more likely to be appreciative. 

My kids normally make their own lunches, but if I make it for them one day, it becomes a gift instead of an expectation, and they are so appreciative. 

We can start small. It can be:

– Our kids making their own lunches. 
– Setting an alarm to wake up. 
– Picking out their clothes to wear that day themselves. 
– Keeping their room clean throughout the week, and cleaning it themselves.
– Helping out around the house. 
– Putting their dishes in the dishwasher.
– When they have a problem with a friend or with school, asking them what they think they will do about it (we can guide them of course, but when we put the ball in their courts it helps them become more confident problem solvers as they see we have confidence in their abilities.)

Each family of course has to decide what responsibilities are best for their kids to have as it’s not an equation, but the point is to begin giving our kids more ownership as they grow older so when they do leave our homes, they are prepared to. When we give our kids more ownership and responsibility, they will see that they are capable, that they can make their own choices and don’t need someone deciding things for them – which is definitely a muscle we want to help flex so that in their middle school and high school years they will grow in confidence and know how to be an independent thinker among their peers. To see a practical way to help our kids grow in responsibility, see my post on How to Do “Allowance”.


A Great Way to do Allowance💲

Giving our kids more responsibility and ownership now helps them later. A parent with grown-up kids recently said to me: “I wish I had done less for my kids.” She was referring to giving them more responsibility to train them up to be responsible adults and not step in to do things her kids could have done. That stuck with me. My allowance approach is a simple way to build more responsibility in our kids and to build ownership of their spaces in the house.

Each week my kids have to clean the counters in their bedrooms, bathroom, their mirror, keep their beds made and rooms straightened daily, replace their towel and washcloth each week, and wipe their baseboards (once a month). They also make their lunches for school – if they forget, they eat the school lunch. The days they have late activities and I surprise them with making their lunch, they have so much appreciation, whereas before it was more of an expectation and not as appreciated. Responsibility builds appreciation. (If you would like a free sample chore chart to help your kids keep track of chores, subscribe and comment below and I’ll be happy to send you one.)

Completing these items above (for the most part – give some grace as they’re learning) gives them the opportunity to complete a *Bonus Job* each week to earn Allowance. If they don’t do their chores, they don’t get the chance to earn money. Some families give $0.50 or $1 per year of their child’s age for allowance. Do what works for you. If they ask why another family gives more, you can tell them that other families do things differently and this is how our family does things. (Making a list of the bedroom chores for your kids that need to be done each week is also helpful.)

Bonus Jobs
My kids do not just get money each week. They have to earn it through a bonus job. I love these because they are such a big help to me and they also help our kids be more appreciative, less entitled, and more responsible. This is how it works:

  1. Each month, I write the bonus jobs for that month on post-it notes and put them on the wall. I have 3 kids, so I post 12 jobs on the wall at the beginning of the month I also have their names on post-it notes below the bonus jobs. (Their meal chore for dinner is next to their name and I rotate them periodically – that is in addition to the bonus job. I want them to pitch in since they are a part of the family.)

    The kids get to pick one bonus job to do each week. If I need a job done that week, I put a star on it so jobs with stars have to be picked that week. If there are no starred jobs, they can do whichever one they want. Examples are pull weeds, wipe all windowsills, wipe baseboards, wipe under furniture, etc.
  2. That week, whenever the kids want, they pick the bonus job they would prefer and put the post-it-note next to their name when they are about to begin it.
  3. I have money in an envelope by the job list. After they complete their chores for the entire week AND the bonus job, and get it checked off by me, they take their Allowance and put it in their “Give”, “Save” and “Spend” boxes. The exercise of Giving at a young age helps our kids be generous and open-handed. The “save” money is put into their bank account we have started for them. Saving in the longterm helps them be responsible. “Spend” money is money they use to spend on things they would like to buy in the short-term. Having their own spend money creates confidence and independence.

Once your family has done this for a few weeks, you’ll start to get into a routine and it will get easier and easier. You’ll also find ways to tweak this so it works best for your family. While the kids might not look forward to the extra responsibility, they will gain more confidence in themselves and thank you when they’re older! And, you’ll be helped along the way with everyday chores. It’s a win-win! I’d love to hear how it goes. Comment below to let me know. (:

$An Awesome Way to do Allowance this Summer$

Do you want another way to do allowance than giving your kids money each week just for doing normal family responsibilities? *Get a free chore chart to help with allowance by subscribing to my weekly email.*

This way of doing allowance, based on Dave Ramsey’s approach, works well if you’re consistent with the chart and have the earned money ready to give to your kids that week. It has worked great with our triplets!

Allowance Chore Charts If you would like my chore chart, go to my homepage and subscribe to my Blog on the pop-up. Then the welcome box will have the simple charts listed: one is a sample chart I use and the other chart is a blank one you can fill out. If you are already subscribed to my Blog and would like a copy of the charts, comment below to let me know, and I’ll email them to you. After you print out the chore charts, tape them to the wall (more details of how to use them are below). If your kids are older, they might not need a chart, but you still should post the Bonus Jobs each week (explained below).

Weekly Expectations such as making bed, setting table, keeping room clean, etc., have to be completed to have the chance to earn allowance money from doing a “bonus Job”. There can be some encouragement and grace along the way with completing the chart as they get used to doing it each day. But, after several weeks, they’ll start getting the hang of it.

Bonus jobs are “extra” age-appropriate tasks our kids do to earn the money each week, such as dusting, wiping base boards, washing windows, pulling weeds, etc. At the beginning of every week, write one new bonus job on your child’s chart. They can complete it whenever they’d like that week. If your kids are younger, you might need to plan a time for them to do their bonus job and teach them how to do it.

Amount Decide how much allowance you will give your kids. Some people give $0.50 or $1 per year of their child’s age, and others give more or less. Put the allowance in an envelope, write Allowance on it, and tape it to the wall next to your kids’ charts at the beginning of the week. That way your kids will be motivated to earn it and can get their allowance after they have finished their weekly chores and bonus job.

When to start 5 to 6 years old is a great time to start teaching about chores, bonus jobs and money.

Create “Give”, “Save”, & “Spend” compartments using envelopes, plastic sealable bags, or a craft box with three compartments. Label each one Give, Save, and Spend. “Give $” goes to the church or a charity each week or month, “Save $” is long-term saving and goes in the bank at the end of the month for something they’d like when they’re older like a car or something else, and “Spend $” is for short-term purchases. Creating a goal of something to save for can also help motivate your kids to save. It is helpful to bring your kids to the bank to open an account if they don’t have one. You can get a print out of how much money they have saved so far to keep them motivated.

Verse I also have a weekly verse on the Allowance Chore chart. Memorizing it isn’t a requirement to earn money, but the first three weeks, I did tell them they got a piece of candy once they memorized the verse! (: Then, I stopped giving them the candy, but we’re still memorizing the verses together each week. I put the verse on the wall and we practice it in the morning. Using hand motions and singing the verses can help with memorizing them too. Let me know if you’d like the verses we’ve memorized this month by commenting below.

Percentages for Give, Save, Spend How to divvy out the money into the three categories, depends on the age of your child and if he or she has expenses. If your child is young and receives $3 each week, they could put $1 in each category to keep it simple. Or, if your child gets $5, $1 could go to give, $1 to save, and they could choose where to put the other $3 to give them accountability, responsibility and freedom. As our kids get older and have to pay expenses like car insurance or other expenses, your child could give 10%, and the saving and spending percentages can be adjusted so they are appropriate. See Dave Ramsey’s website for more examples and guidance. 

While they’re young, what matters most isn’t the percentages, but that they’re getting a head start in learning to manage money.

How to use Allowance Chore Chart After your kids complete the bonus job listed that week, they check it off. I list my kids mealtime job on the chart to check off each day and rotate them each week. The mealtime jobs are setting the table, cleaning the floor after a meal, clearing/wiping the table off. I also have a space for a specific goal each kid needs to work on- one of my daughter’s is to keep her room picked up, my son’s is to remember to brush his teeth(!), and my other daughter doesn’t have one because she’s already doing those things. Each Saturday morning, we all do our weekly bedroom responsibilities listed on the chart which helps me a ton. Blast some music to make it more fun!

Have fun watching your children learn responsibility and the freedom that comes with managing their own money through Giving, Saving, & Spending!

💲How to do Allowance in the New Year💲

Happy NEW Year! Receive my Free “How to Do Allowance” Tips by subscribing to my blog (you’ll receive Faith & Parenting content once a week & can unsubscribe any time). If you are already subscribed and would like these tips, comment below & I’ll send it to you.