Sweeping = Fun

Molly, the sweeping fiend
Molly, the sweeping fiend

As part of Claire’s allowance plan, we all clean up the house together every Sunday morning. ¬†We wanted to include Molly in this activity, both to be fair to Claire and to get Molly in the habit of cleaning too. ¬†At first, Molly was the biggest challenge. ¬†She would basically spend all her time undoing our cleaning. ¬†If we piled books up nice, she would go scatter them around again. ¬†If we put little toys in a drawer, Molly would go get them and put them somewhere else. ¬†Molly was trying to help, but had a little trouble doing it in an optimal way.

Recently, though, we have discovered two things that Molly loves to do.  Her favorite thing is to wipe down the tables.  We spray a little cleaner on the table top, give Molly a damp sponge, and let her go nuts.  She wipes and wipes, continually asking for more cleaner.  The table ends up pretty clean, albeit with a good amount of clean bubbles on the surface.

Molly has also discovered the joy of sweeping.  Once we get a broom out, both girls want a shot at it.  Luckily, we have two kid-friendly brooms.  There is only one dust pan, but Molly is more fond of that than Claire is, as you can see from the picture.


After several months of off-and-on deliberation, we finally got Claire started on regular chores and allowance.  We were having trouble deciding on the details.  What exactly would Claire have to do to earn her allowance?  How much would she earn?  Does she get paid daily or weekly?  What exactly happens if she did not do her do her chores?  And so on.  But on a recent Saturday night, when we hired a baby sitter for a few hours, we finally hashed it out over dinner.  This date night, we had a babysitter for five hours and did nothing.  We just had dinner, talked, and strolled around South Congress.  It was great!  And among other things, we finally nailed down Claire’s allowance plan.

It works like this… Every day, Claire needs to complete three items: get herself dressed, put up her shoes whenever she takes them off, and take her dishes to the kitchen after each meal.  These are pretty easy chores, but we wanted to set Claire up for success.  Of all of then, we have had the most trouble in the past with Claire dressing herself, of all things.  She just really likes when we help her get dressed.  Anyways, for every day that Claire does all of those things, she gets 50 cents.  And on Sundays, we all clean up the play area together.  If Claire participates in the clean up, she gets a bonus of $1.50, bringing her weekly total to $5.00.  The allowance would be distributed as cash immediately after the clean up.  This whole thing may sound a little confusing, I guess, but basically she gets $5 a week as long as long as she does all her chores, and we have some gradual ratcheting back from there.

When we told Claire about the allowance plan, she was pretty happy.  She understood the rules right away, and she was really excited to get started.

I am happy to report that Claire completed all of her tasks in her first week of allowance, collecting the full $5 today.  She went with Kit to Michaels craft store to buy some supplies for her “100th day of school” project, and she took her $5 spending money with her in a little glass jar.  Claire came home with a wide assortment of stickers and a special Santa Claude card, her very first purchase made with her own hard-earned money.  Michael’s being very affordable, the total came to $3.33, leaving her $1.67 in change to add to next week’s haul.  Way to go, Claire!  With any luck, I can’t wait to see what you do with your $6.67 next week!