I'm pretty sure Thomas has been talking with some of his new friends from school or some of the older kids in the neighborhood about lots of new things. For example, the other week Thomas asked when he could start doing chores?
Before I could even explain to Thomas that he already does chores, apparently unbeknownst to him, like clearing the table after a meal, picking up toys, cleaning his room, bringing his dirty clothes basket to the laundry room, and bringing the trash down to the front door, his friend he was playing with outside jumped in and proceeded to tell him that once he had chores to do, then he could get an allowance.
Excuse me, friend. No, that's not how this mama rolls.
My children already do chores, something that everyone in our family is responsible for helping with, even Marilyn at the ripe age of 2-years old helps clean up toys and can bring her laundry basket to the washing machine. And they do these things because Brian and I ask them to & expect them to... not for money or an allowance.
I have several mommy-friends who have asked the question, "Should I tie allowances to chores?" My response to them is "whatever works for your family". But with that said, I hope they will think about what lesson they want to teach their children before deciding on what to do.
For Brian and I, it was really important for our kids to learn to pitch in and help make the house run smoothly - cleaning, laundry, picking up toys, etc. We started this at such a young age, I don't think they know any different. I feel like we have done a pretty good job so far with teaching them that helping out is an important aspect of family - and that they don't/shouldn't do it for money.
The next step, however, will be to introduce an allowance. We aren't quite there yet, but it is in the near future. Our concern and focus will be how can we teach our kiddos how to manage their money? This is a tremendously important skill in our eyes. If we don't help them gain a concept of money, how to count it, save it, use it, and donate it, then they very well could grow up wasting it, abusing it, and not appreciating it when they have it. I'm trying to be mindful that the purpose of an allowance is to give kiddos the opportunity to learn how to manage money through their own successes and failures with some input from both Brian and I.
Our "allowance plan" is still in the works. To be quite honest, it's really still up in my head. But what is absolutely clear and certain is that chores and allowance will not be connected.