My kids work on commissions. They don't automatically get paid an allowance. I need to rephrase that first sentence: they worked on commissions. I just fired them.
I realize it's summer and they feel like they should have less responsibilities than normal, but the fact of the matter is that stuff still needs to be done. Laundry? Yep. It's laundry today or naked tomorrow. Dishes? Yep. I can't afford to buy paper plates for every meal (...even though that's what I told my mom that's what I'd do when I was a kid). Trash out? Yep. I super don't like the smell of nasty trash in my house. I really don't feel like I expect too much of my kids. I don't think I was overloading them either. I think they have gotten into some less-than-hard-working habits. More than one time I have told them, if they worked like that at a real job or in a business of their own, they'd be fired or go out of business. So that's exactly what I did. I fired them tonight.
This particular straw that broke the camels back started last night. I had asked the kids to empty the dishwasher yesterday afternoon and it didn't get done. I was fed up, so I started to do it before bed time when my daughter walked in. (I will 99% of the time just let the dirty dishes sit in the sink, but I couldn't stand it anymore. Something had to give.) She informed me that she would do it in the morning and
"please don't do it, Mommy. I will do it." I believed her and walked away.
I will give her credit. She did start it in the morning, but she didn't finish...it never did get finished--by either kiddo. I was beyond frustrated when I came home at lunch, as I am sure you can imagine. I did the dishes and got to thinking as I headed back to work. Something had to change. I can't keep asking and getting little or no results. I've talked calmly to them. I've yelled. I've cried. Daddy has talked to them until he is blue in the face. They have learned not to listen when the chore talk comes up.
We sat down on the couch. I paid them their last commissions they had earned. I then asked them why they didn't get the full amount they can earn. They knew that it was because they hadn't done all of their chores. I then told them they were fired and I would be doing their chores now, so they can pay me. The chores still need to be done and if they weren't willing to do it, then they could pay me to do it. I did apologize for not communicating with them better about what I was expecting of them. I apologized for apparently not showing them well enough. I think they were stunned. My 12-year-old son didn't really say much. My daughter looked sad, but didn't say much either. The thing about this is, I'm not bluffing. I will do the work. I will take their commissions for myself. Thank you! More spending money for me.
After they digested my words for a bit, well, they responded in not the way I thought they would. We shall see what happens in the coming days and weeks. I feel a series coming on...
Parents, what drastic measures have you taken with your kids to help them "see the light" when it comes to work? I'd LOVE to hear about it. Please comment below. No need to be shy.