We’ve seen Claire go through a big transition in the last year or so. She has become really into helping out around the house! It started with clearing her own plate after a meal. This was part of her daily routine at school – she would take her own dishes, wash them in basins with warm water, and stack them to dry. So we started asking her to clear her plate at home as well, and she was happy to do so!
Around the same time, we also realized that Claire has no real concept of money. She doesn’t know if a lollipop costs 10 KSH, or 10,000 KSH. So we decided to make a simple list of chores with payments, and made her a piggy bank to keep her earnings in. The chores are pretty basic – make your bed every day (this is actually an expectation), set the table for dinner, clear the table after a meal (everyone’s dishes, not just her own!), fill the bird feeders with seed, tidy the bookshelf, help to prepare a meal, etc. Most of the tasks are paid 5 KSH, so it’s not exactly a high paying job. But Claire is really motivated, and loves to check chores off her list.
Eventually, when she has saved up some money, Claire will get to go to the store and pick out whatever she wants, even if it’s something Mommy wouldn’t normally allow (within reason, of course). I fully expect her to buy some disgusting candy I don’t approve of… 🙂
I’m excited to see Claire growing, building character, and taking on an active role in the household. Growing up in the US, we did not have housekeepers the way we do in Kenya. I’ve always worried that having household staff might make my kids lazy or entitled, and this feels like a great way to remind our kids that we still have to participate in the running of the house, even if we have someone to help with the heavy work.
What about you, do your kids do chores? Do you pay allowance? How does it work in your house?
PS – I love this old photo of Claire as a toddler helping with the dishes. I can hardly believe she was ever that tiny!