Are you giving your children a daily chore, and subsequently a weekly allowance?
Although there have been times when I've lapsed in these parental duties, I do my best to try to be consistent in appointing chores, checking daily to make certain they have been done, and awarding a certain dollar amount every week for the completion of these chores.
In addition to teaching our children hard work and responsiblilty, the chores our children do help us. It is that much less we have to do around the house! And the older the kids get, the more work they are able to handle.
My 10-year-old daughter is responsible for making her bed and mine, as well as for clearing the dinner table. For this I award her $5 per week with a pay day on Sunday. If she doesn't do the chores, she gets nothing. If she does a portion of the chores, she gets a portion of her allowance.
My 15-year-old son is responsible for making his own bed, picking up the living room, and emptying out the dishwasher. For this he is also awarded $5 per week. Ideally, he should receive a little bit more, but I simply can't afford it.
There may be times, especially in today's economy, when we feel as though we simply can't afford to give our children an allowance. I've been there myself. What I've found, however, is that even a little bit goes a long way. If you are able to pay your child only one dollar per week, that's ok; he or she will learn the same values no matter how much they are being paid.
In appointing chores for your children, you are teaching them to be responsible in their jobs; you are teaching them the value of a dollar; and you are teaching them that they can indeed trust you to keep your word and award them their just due.
For a few dollars a week you can teach your children invaluable lessons, while at the same time save yourself a pile of work. It will be the best money you may ever spend.