Motivation for chores

Bright Eyes has never enjoyed taking part in household tasks. 

"My arms are floppy!" he says when he's sorting the washing. 

"I caaaaan't," he moans when he's emptying the dishwasher.

"It's rubbish. Cleaning up is for losers," he argues when he's tidying his room.

Until now. We've all suddenly discovered the value of money and Bright Eyes has something he wants to buy. It's an HO gauge Hornby Thomas the Tank Engine loco that will be able to run on the proper metal track he was given this week. It costs $53.78. Apparently. 

"I've got my own layout and I'm getting a Hornby Thomas loco," he proudly told the dentist today. He's extremely keen.

So, rather than just doling out money or buying the train for him, I've connected jobs to money. The going rate is $1 per job (or 50c for a shared effort). His little brother is also on board (he's saving up for a Holly Shiftwell with pop out wings - worth $20) and there are plenty of jobs. I'm winning because I'm not working so hard. They are winning because they are earning and because they are learning skills. 

Paying kids for chores was never going to be part of my parenting philosophy but when you have a child who is as demand-resistant as Bright Eyes, it helps that he has his own internal motivation to do some work around the place. 

For the record, he's earned $16.50 so far. Tomorrow he wants to mow the lawn because it's worth a lot more. I'll be amazed if he does it but I'll certainly pay up.