My son is five, and when I decided that this experiment was going to happen, we had a talk about what he could expect for the coming year. He knows that I am not buying anything, including toys. He has enough toys already (trust me), but he’s my kid and novelty is just as attractive to him as it is to me. This isn’t meant to be a punishment for any of us, so he will get a chance to make some purchasing decisions for himself.
He has a few gift cards leftover from his birthday last month, and he can’t wait to blow them. I’m trying to explain to him that once the cards are used, that’s going to be basically it for the year. I also came to the decision that he’s probably old enough for an allowance.
We made a deal: If he does the household tasks that he’s supposed to do all week without too much prompting, then come Friday, he will have earned five dollars.
He likes deals. All week, he’s been figuring out how many weeks it will take before he will have earned $10, $25, $60. Hooray for unintentional math!
His basic chores include making his bed every morning, clearing his dishes from the table, and restocking the bathrooms with toilet paper. That last one is really important. Picking up his toys is no longer too big an issue since we adopted a Lego-loving dog.
Tomorrow is his first payday. I am very interested to hear from any parents out there who have tried this.