I gave birth to Pint-Sized Negotiators

Recently, Hubby and I decided to give the kids a little bit more responsibility when it came to household matters and chores.   We invoked several mandates such as:

Clean your room or whatever is left that is not put away gets tossed in the big black garbage bag, never to be replaced.Setting the Table

Showering is not us nagging.  It’s personal hygiene.  Get in the shower at least every other day – two days max.

You have your own beds.  Sleep in them or we will turn your room into our hobby rooms.

For the most part, things have been running quite smoothly.  In fact, our youngest has even taken the initiative to do dishes whenever possible.  Granted this process takes twice as long and requires my complete attention, I have been pleased with the results.  But most recently, I have been finding that with each suggestion or given task comes with a much higher price.

$25 please, and I will clean my room in less than 10 minutes…

Look how nice I was to my sister.  That’s worth at least $5…

One Skylander Giant if I set the table…

Girl cleaning the house with a broomI am not sure what gave my children the notion that we “pay” for their services.  Clearly, they do not “pay” us to keep a dry roof over their heads or to drive them from school to practice to play dates.  However, they have become fixated on being compensated for their services – and their rates are outrageous.  Seriously, $25 to clean a room!?!?!  How about I give you $5 and you take five hours to clean it.

After much thought and reflection, I decided that while their pay scale was completely unattainable, their negotiation tactics are to be admired.  I never – at their age – had the insight to be paid for being nice to my brother (although I am sure he would have appreciated it) nor did I negotiate terms for cleaning my room.  So how come my children do?

I think the answer is simple.  It’s my fault.  Way, way, way back when I first began blogging, I explained how I would give an allowance for the chores they completed.  And today, almost two years later, inflation has taken over the pay scale.  So I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I adjusted their rates for their contributions to household chores, but indicated half of what was received needs to be placed in the vacation jar.  The more they do, the more they earn for the ice cream and mini golf and summer time beach fun.

For now, this adjustment seems to be working.  For now, anyways……


One thought on “I gave birth to Pint-Sized Negotiators

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