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It can be very frustrating to ask your child over and over again to complete their chores without them ever getting done.  If this describes your house to a tee, consider designing a chore chart. Chores might include taking out the garbage, doing the dishes, cleaning their room, yard work or putting laundry in the laundry room. Each chore has to be done just once or twice a week. Anything more is unrealistic. After your child completes each chore, they can put a check mark on the chore chart. At the end of each week, it's very inspiring for both parent and child to look at the chore chart and easily see that each designated job was completed.  Just like our 'to do' lists, your child will find great satisfaction in being able to check off each chore as it's completed and take pride knowing they accomplished a set task or list of tasks.  

Once you've sat down with your child and discussed and designed a chore chart, it's time to discuss the rewards for accomplishing each task listed.  Perhaps at your home you decide you will give a set sum for each task accomplished.  If you should decide to grant your child some sort of monetary allowance, make sure it's age appropriate and granted on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is 50 cents per year of age.  So your 8 year old child would earn $4.00 per week if each chore on the list has been completed.  If it has not been, they do not receive their allowance.

This is a great opportunity for you to teach your children the value of both earning and saving money, and also giving back.  Perhaps the child can divide their allowance into thirds: 1/3 to spend, 1/3 to save, and 1/3 to use to help those less fortunate than themselves.  You might also want to consider designing a 'bank book' for each portion of the allowance and tuck each into three separate coffee cans or money jars, and that way you and your child will be able to keep track of how much has been saved, how much has been spent, and how much of their allowance has gone to help someone else.  

Should you decide to use non-monetary incentives as chores payment, be sure you set clear parameters for your child.  Be sure they understand that two hours each weekend of their favorite video game or going to see a movie with mom or dad is only earned by completing the chore list successfully each week.  You might want to consider writing these on a slip of paper as 'currency' for the child to keep in their 'privilege bank' and they can cash it in with you when they'd like.  

Regardless of the method you choose, keep in mind this can be a valuable tool for both you and your child.

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The Whys of Whining

"Moooooooooooom!" It's irritating, it's frustrating and it gets on your last nerve. Though it's obnoxious and ... curb whining should the positive attention and disciplinary actions be ineffective.

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