I remember when I was growing up and when I first started Sub A (Grade 1 back in the older days) I received my first pocket money. It was a lovely, purple R5 note; and I guess this might be one of the reasons that purple is my favourite colour! 😉 Oh the things I could buy. The De Reiger Café, right around the corner from our house, banked most, if not all of my piggy bank money. I remember with a mere R1 coin I could get an enormous bag of toffees and “loose sweets” – you could still buy them for 1 and 2 cents each, some even 2 for 1 cent. And children could still walk in the streets to the shops (with an older brother of sister of course) Glorious days and good memories!
Hmmm let me get back from my trip down memory lane. A while back Jamie kept on talking about how much he would love to have a ‘blue money’ a.k.a. a hundred rand note and he kept on asking me for one. Or perhaps I should say whining… a whole lot of whining, because it just did not stop and I told him that it is a lot of money for a little boy like him, which he just did not accept and the whining continued.
I thought about it for a while and came to the conclusion that now that he is 5 years old he can start to earn himself some pocket money by helping me around the house. Busy, full-time working, no domestic worker, mommy-of-two, I can sure do with some extra help. That does not count as child labour, right? 😀
So I explained to Jamie that if he wants a ‘blue money’ he is going to have to earn it, just like mommy and daddy works to earn their salaries. I handed him an empty jar and explained to him that he will have to perform certain chores/tasks for me and that each time he will receive a marble to put into his jar. When he has gathered 50 marbles I will pay him his much desired R100 note.
He took to it like a fish to water. On the first day I asked him to unpack the dishwasher and he immediately wanted to call one of his best friend’s Tristan to tell him that he must do some chores for his mommy too. He was so proud. I was so proud.
Since then he completed quite a number of chores and the marbles are accumulating quickly. He does things like unpack the dishwasher, sort and roll up the socks out of the laundry, pick up the tupperware and pack it back into the cupboard after toddler Shae made a mess with it, dry wet dishes on the kitchen sink, water my plants etc.
I guess it gave him a sense of self worth and accomplishment, as it looks like he is really enjoying the small tasks I give him. He loves collecting his marble at the end of each chore and he checks his jar regularly to see how the marbles accumulate. It looks like I’m going to have to go to the ATM very soon! I am incredibly proud of my big boy!