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Episode 42

Chores: Helping your children see chores differently and possibly enjoy them

August 8, 2022

[Kyle]: In today's podcast we are going to talk about chores! You know, kids, you know, love it, hate it, whatever they feel about it. We're going to move into like, how do we invite the kids into actually doing them, doing them well and participating without it being a huge conflict.

[Kyle]: Well, hello and welcome to episode 42 of The Art of Raising Humans. I’m Kyle.

[Sara]: And I’m Sara.

[Kyle]: And today we're going to talk about chores. How do you get the kids to do them, right? I mean, are you asking that question? I’m sure you are. A lot of parents are thinking about “man, I want my kids to learn how to do those chores, because there's a lot of work that needs to be done around this house and I’m getting kind of tired of doing it all, right?”. What's some of the chores that kind of stink for you, Sara?

[Sara]: Dishes

[Kyle]: Dishes, you don't like dishes? Oh yeah.

[Sara]: It's a never-ending.

[Kyle]: I thought you were going to say laundry. Like folding laundry.

[Sara]: I’d rather do laundry than dishes.

[Kyle]: Okay. Well, as a listener, I wonder what yours is? What's the chore you dislike? I know a lot of people hate the folding the laundry, you know? Doing-- I guess mopping, mowing. Mowing ain't too bad as long as the yard isn't too big, you know? I don't like really weeding. I don't know why weeding-- It just seems more dangerous; I don't want things to fly in my eyes and I really don't want to wear those glasses to block my eyes. But anyway, that's a side point. But so, today we want to talk about, you know, lots of parents are scared of the subject and they handle it one of two ways, somebody like what we've talked about in another podcast and before we get into that, I really would love to hear your feedback. So, all the listeners, we'd love to hear your ideas, how do you do chores? How do you help your kids take on the responsibilities at home? How do you verbalize it to the kids? How do you invite them into this type of activity? Right?

[Kyle]: And so, we'd love to hear that feedback, would love for you to put comments or give us a five-star rating. That's an awesome thing to do and then, it helps us get to more families and help them out. So, if this is a subject you see other families really struggling with like, “what's the newest chore chart? How do we get rewards and punishments connected to it?” and you're like “Ah! I don't really want to do it that way!”. We're going to help you today and we're going to help a lot of other families, not need to set up some kind of reward/punishment method, but instead to actually teach them life skills that they're actually going to enjoy. So, it may not always be fun, but they're actually going to enjoy it and they'll come to be great human beings who love to take care of things around the house and fix things, all of that stuff.

[Kyle]: So, we’d love your feedback on that front. So, let's start with this kind of idea. First of all, I know I keep using the word chores, but we actually don't use that word! So, like-- So, how do we approach this a little differently, Sara? Why don't we use that word?

[Sara]: Well, I think it's similar to some other words in our culture. This may not be true across the world, but in our court-- In our culture the word chores comes with a lot of baggage. A lot of us-- You say “chores” and there's probably lots of immediately flood into people's mind of rewards, punishments, big lists, checklists, battles, arguments.

[Sara]: It just-- It's very weighted and we just decided “let's not use that word”.

[Sara]: And honestly, since our kids haven't grown up with the word chores, it doesn't-- They don't have that. But for us just to approach it differently, we're like “okay, let's just-- Let's throw out that word”.

[Kyle]: Yeah. I think even it's good.

[Sara]: It creates a framework. I think as our kids engage the world and with their friends, they-- Especially our oldest one, as she talks to her friends about chores, she's starting to pick up on some of that and the expectations and all the things attached to it. So, we wanted to approach living in a home together as all of us people, differently than just with chore list.

[Kyle]: And if you've heard our podcast before, we do think language matters. Like language-- How you say something, going back to just the brain wiring and the neurobiology is, we have certain beliefs about certain words, you know? And I’m even thinking when I say the word chore, that does-- I mean, like even though it's--

[Sara]: Well, you just look at the definition, right?

[Kyle]: Yes. That’s such a chore. I could say like, it's such a chore to-- You can use it as an adjective, you know?

[Sara]: It's negative.

[Kyle]: Yes!

[Sara]: It is a negative, this is not a “yay! Chores!”

[Kyle]: Yeah, that's such a chore to do that and so, there isn't-- No one goes “yeah, like I can't wait to do my chores”, unless it's like “I can't wait to do it so I can make some money”, you know? And I can earn something. So, there's almost always, almost every kid I talk to who “does chores”, they're talking about it and I’m either going to get something or I’m going to be punished if I don't, right? It's very rarely like, they're buying into it and just wanting to do that activity or doing that responsibility-- Sara, we don't even use the word chores, you know? So, how do you-- How would you describe it if you're not using that word?

[Sara]: Yeah, I think we just tried to create a different environment and framework around doing that and it's just that, we all live here and we all take care of our space. And our rooms, the dishes, the floors, the bathrooms, the trash, whatever it is, we're all living here in a community, a family and so, we're going to take care of those things and we talked about the value in that, you know? How does the room feel when it's clean versus messy.

[Sara]: If we run out of dishes, I mean, just a practical side of, what happens if nobody takes care of these things? We live here, we made it messy and so, we're going to take care of it, because we enjoy living in this space. You know, what kind of space do we want to live in? And I had these very real conversations even about their rooms, you know? How when it's messy, how does it feel? When it's clean, how does it feel? Which one do you like? Do you like when you can find your stuff? You know. So, we just discussed that, because honestly, even our children have a little bit different answers to those things. We have some who are a little more on the neat side and we have, you know, my oldest daughter, she-- She doesn't mind a little mess.

[Sara]: Not like she wants it dirty/filthy, but she doesn't want strict organization and so, we just work with that and we talk about how we want it and then-- And then we go from there into “okay, how are we going to take care of this space?”.

[Kyle]: You know, as you're thinking that, I’m thinking back to the podcast, I think we discussed this about doing a win/win, rather than a win/lose or a lose/win, right? I think what we're trying to do is really create doing things around the house, you know? Really participating in what it takes to run a house, right? It's really what we're inviting them into and it's really trying to make it a win-win. I think a lot of times with chores, it's like a win/lose. We try to make it a win/win by paying them or doing something, but I think that actually, if you look at a book-- There's a great book, if the listeners are interested in like, books about motivation, a book called “Drive” by Daniel Pink and he talks about how people in work environments, they can be motivated by raises and by bonus work incentives, but really people are more motivated by being a part of something that means something. Doing something that's helpful, that's important.

[Kyle]: You know, like he gave the example-- I think this was really an interesting example, how for a long time Microsoft was trying to create an encyclopedia that would be online, that would constantly update itself and like constantly keep new information going and they're paying people like six figures to do this. But the thing they couldn't keep up with was Wikipedia and Wikipedia was being done by people who were volunteering their time, who had jobs of their own. Where already working, but they were passionate about the things they were updating and actually, Wikipedia was not only updating things better, but was actually updating just as accurately as the encyclopedia thing they were trying to do. So, eventually Microsoft scrapped that and stopped doing it.

[Kyle]: So, it's kind of that idea that we bought into. I also noticed, Sara, that kids in school, kindergarteners, first graders, second graders, a lot of times they might get in trouble at school and the teacher would want me to “punish” that kid because I was the school counselor. I don't know why that's my job, but [Unintelligible] so like, why would I punish the kid? But I want to help the kid, so the kid will come in and I think-- I think the teacher wants them to do something that looks like punishment, so I’d say to the five-year-old, a six-year-old, seven-year-old “hey, you know what? I think what you may need to do for the rest this week is stay after school and help that teacher clean” and the kid almost every time would be like “really? Can I?”.

[Kyle]: The kid was so excited, because the kid was gonna get one-on-one connection time with the teacher and I was trying to, you know, subversively get the teacher to see the kid in a better light, you know? Because the kid will come in and the kid would love to participate in cleaning this room, because then the next day they come to class and the kids go “wow! The room looks so clean!”. Like “yeah! I did that! You know?” and that Daniel Pink talks about how we are driven that way, we want to go “I did that, look how I helped others!”. Like, that's something-- And I think with the chores, what I noticed it was just-- It was kind of killing that in the kids.

[Kyle]: It was make so the kids weren't going “I did that”. The kids like “hey, I got it done”, you know?

[Sara]: Well, because it's more-- I think it comes across to kids is “here's my list, it's being done to me forced upon me. I’ve got to go do these things”. There's no bigger picture kind of tied into it sometimes, so they're just like “here's my list”.

[Kyle]: Yeah, and so, the bigger picture is we all have something to contribute. We all from different ages, there's different expectations and how you can do it, we-- I mean, just to give you just our expectations, we want the kids helping with dishes, we want the kids cleaning their rooms, we want the kids to be helpful in doing laundry, you know? Right now, the kids aren't quite an age to help with the lawn, but they've started helping with pulling weeds and things like that and so, we--

[Sara]: Yeah, you know, pulling the weeds and the trash.

[Kyle]: And the reason why we're doing this is, yes, there is a selfish motivation, it does make our life better, right? But it's not an “either/or”, it's a “both and”. Yes, it does help our life, but it also helps their life. You know, like some of the kids I see, Sar,a that are like 16-17 and really, really anxious about the future, it is because there's anxious things going on in the world, but it's also because they feel like they don't know how to adult, you know?

[Kyle]: They don't know, they've never done laundry, they don't know how to clean their room, you know? They don't know how to manage their money, you know? And it really scares them and it should! Because they need to know these things, you know?

[Sara]: I remember when I went to college and I would head off to do my laundry and I mean, this one I really credit my parents, I had no stress about doing laundry. I’d grab my laundry and head down there, but I remember friends who had no idea how to do laundry. “Okay, were here, we're supposed to do laundry a thousand miles from home” and they didn't know how to do it. Same with when there was a kitchen. I’d stay over the summer, do summer classes, I knew how to cook and prepare food and-- Oh, we went on a trip.

[Kyle]: That's right, yes. That's right, yeah, yeah.

[Sara]: And we had some weird ingredients and you know, I was able to put together a meal that was edible.

[Kyle]: Oh, such a good meal. Oh, so good.

[Sara]: We're in Siberia. We won't get into that story, but we were in Siberia.

[Kyle]: We won't, but there is a funny thing about that, you were making pizza and I was trying to do it with you, because I liked you and I wanted to like, spend more time with you and so, we're in Siberia and we got these like, things that were supposed to be--

[Sara]: Sausages

[Kyle]: Yeah, were supposed to be pepperoni or something, right? But it wasn't like, all sliced up.

[Sara]: Yeah, okay. It's just-- FYI, if you don't-- Siberian food is way different than food from the States.

[Kyle]: So-- But we cut it up, I cut it up, I did that part and then we put it on the pizza, but I didn't know that there was like a layer outside of the stuff that you're supposed to peel off. So, people were eating the pizza and like “what is this waxy thing that's on it?” and I was like “oh, apparently I wasn't taught how to do this”. But it was cool you knew how to do it and you were only at the time like, 20, 21 and you knew how to take all these ingredients in a totally different form and place and make a great pizza. That was pretty awesome.

[Sara]: Yeah. So, getting back--

[Kyle]: Yes, sorry. Down storyline, yes.

[Sara]: Yeah. But-- No, I can't even--

[Kyle]: You were talking about the ability, to have these skills. Yeah, you could do laundry, you could cook, all that kind of stuff, you know? And so, it really equipped you to be successful in life, right?

[Sara]: Yeah, and I give credit to my parents for teaching me that, because I could enter into the adult world and I had the skills and really at the end of the day, that's what we want, we do need help. I mean, especially we have three kids and taking care of the house is getting to be harder and harder and harder.

[Kyle]: And the dog. All that stuff, yeah.

[Sara]: And work and balancing all that stuff and so, their participation in that makes sense and if they were my roommates, I’d want their participation, but it makes sense and it teaches them these skills that they need to go out in life.

[Kyle]: And something that we would say we add on this, is not only have we tried this and there's been a lot of failures at this, right? There's been times like, we would try it and the kids were still like “oh, dishes!” and like that kind of re--

[Sara]: O yeah. Another one is “woohoo!”

[Kyle]: Yeah, and there were times we were like “you know what? We don't really need that like, just go do the dishes, right?”. There were times we did that just because we were like “oh, what's the deal? I wish they'd buy into this”, you know? But it did take us having positive intent like the last, you know, podcast. I do believe the kids want to help; I do believe kids want to do meaningful work; you got to start with that premise. If you don't believe they want to help, if you don't believe they want to contribute, then I think you're just going to be frustrated and you're going to feel like you need to bribe them or you're gonna need to punish them in some way, right? So, you gotta-- Every time you're just slipping into that, you gotta go back to like “I think my kid wants to help. I think everybody finds meaning and contributing to something bigger than them”. That's just-- It's just science, we're just proven to do that. When people are able to like, in school to like-- Becky Bailey does a lot of school, family stuff with schools. When kids have a job in the classroom, they enjoy being in that classroom more, they feel like they're contributing to the classroom and the development of that that classroom, right?

[Sara]: Yeah. Well, I and we know from a lot of neuroscience stuff that we need people, we're kind of designed or wired to live in community with people, we're not meant to be isolated and alone and when we contribute to that community, we feel better about ourselves. The more we build skills, we have greater self-confidence. Children, you know, when you do studies and look at children who are more confident and feel good about themselves and have good self-esteem and all that stuff, it's kids who are-- Do know how to do things.

[Sara]: And so, doing chores and contributing to the house will actually help them to be happier, confident, have some self-esteem.

[Kyle]: Less anxious. Yeah, all that stuff. So, I want to put this out there, before we start moving to kind of the wrap up here, is the big idea is this. So, I wrote this down, Sara, because this is the big idea that I think you eventually and I stumbled onto and the reason why we just don't do “chores” just to get things done or just be like, you know, “just go help me mow the lawn”; this is the big idea. It reminds me that their contribution is important and needed. So, that's the first thing, right? So, I was thinking as I thought about doing chores, it's like “why am I even asking them to do this?”. Well, because it reminds me that their contribution is important and needed. They feel they play an important role in the family, which is important, they feel like they contribute, they feel like their existence is meaningful, you know? It is encouraging to people when they can be helpful and serve, it just is, you know? One of the first things you tell a client who's depressed and feeling like life has no meaning or hopeless is “go serve, find a way to serve”. When you do it, you find meaning through the service. Finally, it equips them with basic skills such as washing dishes, folding laundry, dusting, cleaning toilets, mowing the lawn. These are all basic things they are going to need some day in a marriage, in a family or living in a dorm with others; this kind of stuff. These are things that are going to make them more likely to succeed in life, right?

[Sara]: Right

[Kyle]: So, that that's the big idea, okay? Now, what is the obstacle? What is the roadblock, Sara, in parents approaching these big ideas in a more open-handed way? How come it seems like the go-to is the punishment/the reward? How can we tend to go that way?

[Sara]: Well, I’d say it-- Part of it is us and how we were raised, so we look at those chores the same way and if all that list that you just-- You went down, if I don't buy into that myself as a parent, then my children aren't gonna see it that way either. If I’m approaching my child and asking them to do the dishes because I believe it's giving you a skill you're contributing, it's going to raise your self-esteem, all that stuff that you just went down, if I believe that when I approached my child to do the dishes, that's the message you're going to get, versus if I just come and go “hey, I know you're supposed to have chores, get your chores done. Go do it”.

[Kyle]: “You need to start helping out around here, you're being too lazy, start contributing” right? That kind of stuff.

[Sara]: So, once again it starts with me believing that's why I’m going to my child asking them to engage in this activity. Then I approach it differently, I come alongside them, present it differently, to invite their participation into it. Instead of coming with this “there's going to be this battle, this is how chores lists work between parents and children. We're going to have resistance and I’m going to bribe you or punish you to get this done”. That just breeds more resistance to it and creates bigger obstacles and it becomes a battleground.

[Kyle]: Well, I’d even say for every parent listening to this, listen to how you talk about it, you know? Lots of times we'll-- “You just need to-- I don't care if you like it! You see, sometimes in life you've got to do things you don't like, right?”.

[Sara]: That's how we feel.

[Kyle]: Yeah, exactly, because we tell ourselves that all the time. Like “yeah, dishes stink, so what? Go do it anyways, that's what I do”, you know? And so, we'll have this kind of-- So, what you're saying is, first of all, I think I got a model that maybe dishes doesn't have to stink, you know? Maybe doing laundry doesn't have to-- If I’m thinking that, that's on me. I can regulate my emotions; I can shift it. I know what you do last times [Unintelligible], you and Abby when you're doing laundry, you'll watch a hallmark movie, right? We'll make it more fun, I’ve done that too, you know? When I’m doing dishes, I’m gonna listen to a podcast! A friend of ours, he likes to listen to audiobooks, you know? And so, he actually likes doing all the dishes at the end of the day, because he likes to listen to the audiobook.

[Kyle]: So, there's different ways to make it enjoyable, it actually does not have to be tedious. But even if it is, what I find makes it less tedious is doing it with others, you know? So, I think-- You know, if the kid is having resistance to it, I’ll model to the kid the willingness to participate with them, right? “Oh, it seems like you think it's too hard, would you like me to help you with it?”, right? And almost every time you say that, the kid will be like “yeah!”, because now dishes has become a way to connect with you, which they actually like to connect with you, right? Or mowing the lawn is a way to do what you're doing, because they actually like being like you, you know?

[Kyle]: So, these kind of-- Approaching it this way by modeling first, how am I approaching the chore or the responsibility? Am I dreading it? Am I hating it? How am I talking about it?

[Sara]: Am I saying “oh, I gotta go mow the lawn again”? Or you know, if I’m complaining and griping about it, what are my kids going to do? Complain and gripe about it.

[Kyle]: Yes, and then the other aspect I think that hinders us is the fear. That if I don't make them do it, they would never do it. Because we think in ourselves if I wasn't made to do it, but really nobody's making you do it. Like, you are choosing to do it. So, this goes back to that language podcast we did, which go back and look at about “have to”, “need to”, making-- I can't make the kids do these things, it's all an invitation. I want them to do it with me, I want to co-create with them how to keep this house running in a really positive healthy way, right? So, you're reaching out your hand and you're saying “will you do this with me? I would love to do it with you”.

[Sara]: If they're not used to that, their first answer might be “no”.

[Sara]: Because they're like “really? You're inviting me instead of making me? I’m going to test this to see if it's true” and I think you-- I think I want to encourage parents to lean into that, lean into the invitation versus the coercion or trying to make them do something.

[Sara]: But we use the invitation in our home and we've been doing it a long time, so our kids are kind of used to that. But we do invite them in, we do try to bring joy into it, we do a lot of-- We'll do it with or they do it together. If someone's struggling, if something-- But what's funny to me is, I remember kind of-- Even moments now, I might have this fear of “well, if I do that or if I even help them, they're always going to want me to help them”.

[Kyle]: Exactly, exactly. That’s good.

[Sara]: But what's funny is, I don't see that actually playing out. There are some areas that are really a struggle and they still need my help, but let's-- I’ll use dishes, for example. I can now say to my son he's ten, I can say “hey, will you do the dishes?” and he just goes over and does them and he does a great job. They're clean, they're actually clean and he knows how to do them.

[Sara]: What's funny is the other day, my daughter always avoids doing the pans and I-- Going back to the [Unintelligible], I was like “what? She just doesn't want to do the hard stuff!”.

[Kyle]: Yeah, “she's trying to do it the easy way”.

[Sara]: So, we had to talk about it and she's like “mom, I know you showed me, but you didn't show me good enough, because I still don't know how to get this stuff” -- But my son can, because I remember I did take more time with him. I did assume more things about her and so, when she said it, this little light bulb went off in my head and she just-- I mean, we've been having this conversation for a while and finally just-- I realized “oh, she really doesn't know how to do it, which is why she's avoiding it and so, I’m going to join with her. Here, let's go, let me come back, let me show you how to do it”, because she didn't feel competent and she felt like they're not getting as shiny and nice as-- You know, when he does them or when you do them. So, I’d rather not do it.

[Kyle]: Yeah, yeah. It makes me think of a client I had one time, Sara, who his mom was really adamant about him doing dishes all the time and this kid would make a gigantic deal by doing the dishes, a fight every evening and I was trying to help the mom shift away from every night, that seems like a lot every night, you know? “Nope, she's not betting on that”. So, okay. Well, I’ll go back to the kid. So, I’ll try to help the kid shift it, right? So, I’ll be like, what's ways you can make that fun? And so, we spent about 30 minutes in the session just talking about ways to make that fun and at the end of that 30 minutes, he's like “man, these are some good ideas, I’m not going to do any of them” and I said “you're not going to do any of them? Like, why wouldn't you do any of them?” and he said “dude, if I had fun doing the dishes, do you know how many more chores my mom would give me?”. It's like-- And this is the battle we get into with the kids. He's making it so hard for mom to “make him do the dishes”, she's just exhausted, she doesn't want to do that with mowing the lawn or cleaning his room and I think a lot of families can relate to that and that's where, if you're battling with your kid about this, it's a misunderstanding of the point of asking them to do it, it's an invitation. Like, this is actually an opportunity for them to grow and to actually feel a sense of meaning and purpose. I know that sounds like “really? Doing dishes?”, yeah!

[Kyle]: Like I remember, Sara, early on just even us being married, you were-- You're a fantastic cook and you would cook and my doing the dishes, at times I’d be like “gosh, she sure didn't make a lot of dishes”. Because like, when I cooked meals, they were all microwavable and it was really fast, but I’d be like “oh, there's a lot of dishes”, but this was my way to love you and serve you by doing the dishes and it became this act of service to you, you know? Instead of just like “oh, gotta do the dishes”, you know? And I felt that as a husband, they're like “oh--”, I felt more connected to you. I was like, I ate the meal and instead of going “look at all the dishes she’s dirty”, it was like “oh, cool, I get to help her and show her how much I love that meal by doing all these dishes. I don't want her to worry about that”, you know?

[Kyle]: And I remember I even used to wait till the morning [Unintelligible], you said you liked them being done at night and at first I was like “what's the big deal?”, but you're like “it feels better to do it--” and so, I just did that and found like “oh, it does feel better, I do like that. It's fun to have them all put away”. So, then in the morning, we don't have to do it. So, just you're inviting the kids into these healthy habits that are going to make them into, you know, a more successful human being. So, the way we do that, I want to get to practical stuff real quick, because I do think a big hindrance to this is, once you get through the fear and you realize “no, they do want to be helpful”, I believe that and I also start modeling it, I start changing how I’m approaching it, is I think a big part is just kids being committed to doing it and I think that comes from choice.

[Kyle]: So, I think the mistake a lot of parents make is they just give “you're gonna help with this, you need to do that”, right? So, I think it's really helpful to sit down with the kids, especially the ones who are older, who are able to do this, invite them into this new way and then, you ask them to then-- You know, say “hey, which ones would you prefer doing? Well, let's try some out, let's see which ones you would like”, right? And I know some may be harder than others. Some kids might surprise you, I mean, some kids-- I’ve actually had kids go “I actually do want to do the toilets”, you know? Because they think they can do the toilets pretty quick and still make them clean and it's faster than some other thing the kids can do. Other people “I’d rather mow the lawn than do the toilets, dude”. You might find it works out really well. Now, there might be some friction there, but that's okay, you work through it. But I think if the kid chooses the responsibility, the activity you're asking, they're more likely to be committed to it and be successful at it, rather than you demanding them to do it, right?

[Sara]: Right, and you might even rotate.

[Sara]: You know, there's lots of ideas of “okay, which one do you want to start on?” and then next week “which one would you switch to?”, you know? Try to help them-- My kids really enjoy making their own little-- They like to decide who's going to do what.

[Kyle]: That's right, yeah, they communicate about that. Yeah.

[Sara]: And they take turns and they rotate who-- And they kind of discuss it and plan it amongst themselves and they seem to really enjoy that kind of having that say so, you know? It's like “okay, the weeding needs to be done. When are you gonna do it?”.

[Sara]: And they enjoy that and I think children just like grown adults do, like to have say, don't want to just be [Unintelligible] “this is when and this is how this is who and--”, they like to have some say in that. So, just-- If you want their engagement, invite them into the process, give them lots of choices.

[Kyle]: And going back to the word I like to use, they're co-creating it, right? So, that's what causes us to feel so proud, is they're taking the responsibilities and co-creating how those get done, instead of the question being “am I going to do them right?” or “is mom and dad going to make me do those?”, it's “how are we going to do them? How would we like to--" and they're feeling the freedom to do that with each other, you know?

[Kyle]: Now, I would add there are some things we do pay the kids to do and you know, once again, every family, everyone listening, I want you to be creative and design it. It’s like--

[Kyle]: You don't need to do it the way we do it, but I just say we do pay them when there's like, super like, menial things that just are not ongoing things, but that like, we're like “hey, could you go pick up those acorns, you know, that are all over the lawn?” or lately it's been weeding, you know? “Do you guys want to earn some money? We'd love it if you went back in the backyard and did all the weeding for us”, you know?

[Sara]: Yes, plus we have our daily “this is how we take care of ourselves and our home” and then those extra jobs and honestly though, we pay them because it also gives them a chance to make some money and learn money management. So, we tie it into and we'll throw in some lessons about, well, if you-- “If you work a job, what do you think a boss is looking for?”.

[Kyle]: Yeah, that's right, yes. That’s good, yeah.

[Sara]: You know. So, I asked them “do you think you earned the right amount for the amount of time you worked and for the effort you put in?” and I’m just using that to help them explore and learn, because someday they're going to enter the workforce and I want them to have that.

[Sara]: Just thinking, but-- But yeah. So, we do that, that's our way of “now they've got some money, how are we going to manage that money? What are you going to save? What are you going to spend? What are you going to invest?”, things like. That's for another day, but just to throw out how we're doing it.

[Kyle]: Yeah. So, in general we-- I would always discourage parents from paying kids in general for “chores” like washing and things that need to be done, but simply because it-- What Daniel Pink talks about in “Drive”, it actually de-incentivizes them over time, you know? Then when you ask them to do other things, they won't do it unless they're getting paid and you and I know as a couple, that we do a lot of stuff in the house we don't get paid for, you know? We just do it and we do it for a higher purpose, not for any money. I think the higher purpose is we think it helps our kids.


[Sara]: And we're very clear with our kids about why we're paying, you know?

[Sara]: They know that. “So you can make some money, so you can learn how to do these things”.

[Kyle]: Yeah. So, I hope this podcast is helpful to you as you're coming into-- You know, you're going to hear this podcast probably in august, so as you're going into the school year, you're trying to get a routine down about the school year and maybe, you know, activities. If you're going to call them chores, whatever you're going to call them, that you want the kids to start participating in throughout the year. I hope it helps you co-create that with the kids, because I really do want you to understand kids want to help, they want to be involved, they want to do meaningful activity that contributes to the family. So, I hope through this podcast, if you get anything, I hope you get that and you start inviting the kids into this, instead of feeling like you have to pay them or punish them to do it, all right? So, we'd love to hear your feedback. Once again, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you do this and I’m sure it's different than us, but in ways in which you have found success and please spread the word, share to other families. So, have a great day and it's great talking to you.

[Sara]: Yeah, thank you for listening.

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