Chores for Your Toddler

Parents with little kids could always use an extra hand. So, why not put your toddlers to work? What kind of activities can you do with your little helpers that are actually chores? What can you to make these experiences as fun as possible? And what are some of the lifelong lessons and benefits for your child?

View Episode Transcript

Parent Savers
Chores For Your Toddlers
Episode 133, Mar 4th, 2016


Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

WENDY SNYDER: Parents of toddlers can always use a little extra help and it turns out that the toddlers themselves are the perfect little helpers. Where there are times it may seem like involving toddlers in chores is creating more work for yourself, there are benefits beyond just getting a job done. I'm Wendy Snyder from Fresh Start Parenting and today we're talking about chores for your toddlers. This is Parent Savers.
[Theme Music/Intro]
JOHNER RIEHL: Hi! Welcome everybody to Parent Savers. Broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego maybe for one of the last time.
JOHNER RIEHL: It's been a great run in a great facilities
SUNNY GAULT: But the show isn't going anywhere.
JOHNER RIEHL: And neither is the Birth Education Center except somewhere else. But they are not going away. It's been a great... we've loved being partners with them here in San Diego and have enjoyed taping here and so here we are from the Birth Education... and where will be in the future? Who knows but Parent Savers is going strong. Sorry to confuse you. But we're still the online on the go support group for parents with infants and toddlers. I'm your host Johner Riehl thank you so much for our loyal listeners who join us every time a new episode is released and for those of you who continue this conversations with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Make sure to check out our Parent Savers App too so you can listen to all of our episodes wherever you go. Speaking of all the technology and connections and advancements here's more from Sunny our head mommy at New Mommy Media to talk about virtual parent list and other way that you can participate.
SUNNY GAULT: So we love hearing from you guys and a great way to participate in our shows is just to reach out to us and we've build in some segments to the shows that you guys can participate in. So we have a fun segment called our “Parenting Oops” segment. It's where we share funny parenting stories, it could be things that your kids did or maybe little mistakes that you made as a parent that you made as parent that are really funny to look back on and have a good laugh. That's a fun segment.
This is one of my new favorite segments that Johner and I started about a month ago. It's called “what's up with that?” It's where our kids do this stuff and like as a parent your just like, "I don't get this", like "what is up with this?" "Why is my child doing this?" Some crazy thing that you just don't understand, it makes no like sense or whatsoever. We want to share those.
So what is your crazy toddler doing right now that you are just like baffled by. Please tell us. We will talk about it on the show and we will commiserate with you in these whole experience. So these are a couple of segments that we can participate in. You can email us through the website if you want to share your story that way or see Johner and I like some make of the fact I promote voicemail on the show. I think it's very antiquated.
JOHNER RIEHL: But you know what for this, it's absolutely perfect.
SUNNY GAULT: But look I've come up with another way to do it. Yes, because I was feeling really guilty that I was very antiquated with my way reaching out. So, instead of voicemail, we still have our voicemail number but through the website now. All the pages for New Mommy Media there's a like a grey button on the side and it says send voicemail. You can actually send voicemail through your computer.
JOHNER RIEHL: That's very cool.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, so you can just use the microphone on your computer. Just hit record, just hit stop when you're done. It will come to us and then we'll include that on a future episode. So get with the times.
JOHNER RIEHL: That is really cool.
SUNNY GAULT: I am, I'm feeling really proud of that.
JOHNER RIEHL: And even if you don't hit stop when you're done then maybe that will be Parenting Oops that we could share as well.
SUNNY GAULT: Let's see what we will get with that.
JOHNER RIEHL: Awesome, tons of ways to participate and so we also have like one of our panelist participating virtually kind of literally a virtual parent list if you will calling em we've got Jewels joining us via Skype. Hello Jules.
JULES MASS: Well my name is Jules Mass and I'm in Seattle, Washington. My husband and I have 5 year old triplet girls. Two are identical and one is fraternal.
JOHNER RIEHL: That's awesome. We might want to start a triplet show now.
SUNNY GAULT: Seriously, I didn't know that. I'm a twin mamma so we have something in common Jules. Yes, but not triplets. Wow
JOHNER RIEHL: Well that's awesome. We are so glad that you could join us today and Jules connected. We connected with her through the Facebook page and I'd love to be part of the conversation and we love having you guys as part of the conversation
JULES MASS: Thank you, I'm very excited to be here.
JOHNER RIEHL: Awesome. And so my name is Johner. We have 3 boys. Who one of them just turned 9 last week at a time we were taping, one of them is about to turn 7 which in their time is like an old man now compared to like when we started this right. But then we also have a 4 year old so who's kind of keeping us towards the younger but the kids are getting older.
SUNNY GAULT: It's what they do, they grow, it's crazy.
JOHNER RIEHL: They do grow and we totally look the same there's no extra gray on our beard. But yes 3 boys club for us. Sunny is our new mom.
SUNNY GAULT: So we have 4 kids of my own and 2 boys and 2 girls. My boys are the oldest. I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old. I have twin girls, identical girls who are just over 2. We're a crazy town. Kind of like Jules too, it's we were crazy town.
JOHNER RIEHL: And then we're joined by Wendy in studio. Hello Wendy welcome.
WENDY SNYDER: Hello, I have 2 kids. Mine are 5 and 8. So I'm kind of on that older front too, it feels like now.
JOHNER RIEHL: But the 5 year old feels pretty young sometimes.
WENDY SNYDER: But the 5 year old I keep on telling them to stop growing.
SUNNY GAULT: They probably listen when you do that though.
JOHNER RIEHL: So Wendy is our expert and we're going to dive-in shortly right after this, into our conversation about chores and toddlers.
[Theme Music]
JOHNER RIEHL: Before we jump in to the conversation about chores and toddlers. We're going to take this opportunity to look at an app like we do from time to time here on Parent Savers because I kind of like to do and Sunny likes me to bring along apps to talk about as well.
SUNNY GAULT: I do this is how we kind of find out new apps from Johner in this segment.
JOHNER RIEHL: And so this one and hopefully it is how our listeners are finding about things too. Since we're talking about chores, I dusted off an app it's called “Chore Pad”. There are few versions of it, you can get a light version which allows you to do just one kid. If you do have more kids like all of us in this room. There is a Chore Pad that's just a standard version $2.99 and they also make a Chore Pad HD which is $4.99. From what I can tell all it does is give you a slightly clearer writing.
I don't know why you necessarily need HD for the graphics on this app so it might just be the $2.99 that's a good call. But it's by a company called “Nannek.” It's pretty cool once you sort off it takes about a couple of minutes for you to sort of understand it. It really walks you to the process but you setup each of your kids and then you can customize, make your own chore so say, make bed, do dishes, put your dishes in the sink after you eat breakfast, don't just throw your clothes when you're getting dressed in a pile that kind of stuff.
You can do whatever you want and then with each of them you also get to set a reward like how many stars that that can earn them. You don't have to it could be zero stars. It can just be the fact that they're getting chores done but also built in that is a way then for you to customize rewards and say if you get this many stars so you give one star for a chore or two stars for some.
Every ten stars you get 25 cents or something if you want to tie it to allowance or 100 stars you get to get a frozen yogurt or something like that. So you can customize what they get. So it's really cool and it's a way for the kids I think to use and its works best from like an iPad that all you guys can share the device to check things off. But it's a way to track chores and rewards kind of easily. I don't know way the kids are using the devices which they kind of like to do anyway but also getting the chores done. Have you guys had any experience like with chore charts like this or electronic things with chores?
SUNNY GAULT: I have not, not yet. So my oldest is 5, I think he's probably ready for something like this and I've been looking for a way to kind of incorporate him more because me just telling him to do stuff isn't working out so... And my 3 year old does play with the iPad too. I wonder how young.
JOHNER RIEHL: You don't have to have the kids do the checking off either. Obviously the parents can just do it.
SUNNY GAULT: So the parents can do the checking off.
JOHNER RIEHL: The parents can do the checking.
SUNNY GAULT: But is not part of the fun for the kids though is the actual like accomplishing something.
JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah exactly. And it could be even be the fact that you're just like, "Here's where it was, just hit the button so you can get the star." It doesn't necessarily have to be them pulling it up between their kid meetings. Pulling over their cozy coop and say, "Oops I'm going to get off on my iPad" so we can help them do that. But anyway it's cool I think the trick to these things is making sure that you kind of establish a routine and stick to it and build that into whatever routine that you are doing.
But I think it's worth of checking out if you're looking for an electronic solution for chores. It's chore pad by Nannek. And if you have one kid or you just want to try it out I say get the free version and see if you kind of understand it and it works for you and then upgrade from there. I think you only really need the standard one for $2.99.
SUNNY GAULT: And you can add multiple kids even to the standard version?
JOHNER RIEHL: Yes, not for the free version.
JULES MASS: Is that for apple.
JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah, that's for i-devices.
JULES MASS: Okay, I'm on Android and I was looking it up and I don't see it.
JOHNER RIEHL: There might be sooner ones on Android. But I think they made these for Apple devices. Sorry about that.
WENDY SNYDER: It's sounds cool because a lot of times on this apps so the electronic devices they have fun little characters and kids love that. We have a tooth-brushing app where they get to celebrate, there's a little monster.
SUNNY GAULT: Is it a brush up?
WENDY SNYDER: Yes, it is. I probably brush up. We talked about the teeth.
JOHNER RIEHL: That's a great point. This one does have a monster is the logo and if you compare it to like the Baby Tracking app or like your breastfeeding app like the parents must be focused on. This one is focused on kids. The whole interface and experience is designed to appeal to kids and hopefully get them to do their chores.
WENDY SNYDER: Get them excited.
SUNNY GAULT: Alright we'll put a link on that to our website for you guys.
[Theme Music]
JOHNER RIEHL: Today on Parent Savers we're talking about "Chores for your Toddlers" with Wendy Snyder from Fresh Start Parenting. Welcome Wendy.
WENDY SNYDER: Thank you for having me.
JOHNER RIEHL: we're so excited and let's just jump right into the conversation and talk about life from a Parent with Toddler and all the things that needs to be done on the house that they can really help with.
WENDY SNYDER: Oh my goodness. The list is endless isn't it?
JOHNER RIEHL: Yes it is for sure.
WENDY SNYDER: Yeah, you start at the beginning of the day. Just from getting dressed, brushing your teeth, making your bed, cleaning up the toys.
JOHNER RIEHL: Wearing your pants.
SUNNY GAULT: Keep your clothes on.
WENDY SNYDER: Keep your diaper on. Don't have a blowout. Yeah, sit-down. Eat breakfast, drink your bottle. All those things right? There's just an endless list and definitely once you get to your the point where you can have some help from them it really feels good not to be alone in at all, because our list as parents is so long. It's probably over a thousand things that we do in a day.
JOHNER RIEHL: You probably don't realize it if you wrote that one.
WENDY SNYDER: So to share with that with our little buddies is incredible, it's a great opportunity to connect actually.
JOHNER RIEHL: Do you think that all of these sound activities can be considered chores or there's some sort of line where, what do you think makes it a chore as opposed that you can have the toddler help with as opposed to just it's your job as a parent do it.
WENDY SNYDER: Well actually in positive parenting we really encourage parents to look at it as responsibilities and in a family we all have responsibilities that we do everyday just because that's what makes a family unit cohesive and that's what makes our day all go smoothly. So absolutely from a very young age we encourage parents to start including toddlers and some of its going to be things that we expect them to do as part of the family and that can start really young.
Just having them put their diaper into the pail. They love those little flip lids and that can start at a very young age. And so just starting to incorporate the concept that they can really help out and contribute and they love feeling valuable, they love feeling like a member of the team and like I said it really helps the whole family. The earlier you start with that concept the better.
Then there are some kids that are super money motivated and those kids can do extra to make some money and we can so I can answer some more questions on how we approach the money side.
JOHNER RIEHL: That is true we're grown-ups too. They're some grown-ups who are so money motivated. But it's interesting I feel like with young kids especially, especially really young kids you can have them help with almost everything and they are so excited to be part of the team. And there I think becomes a time maybe as they get a little bit older where yeah I'm not that interested in that anymore.
When they're asserting their independence as they get older and then they start of get a little bit older still to be closer to like 4 or 5 years old and it's like alright it's time welcome to the family.
WENDY SNYDER: Yes and I think our jobs as parents are just to be consistent. There are times when we don't want to do everything in a day. We don't always want to get up to go to work or make lunches or stop and get gas whatever it may be we still do it though and so we can continue to encourage them even when they hit those ages when they just say, "Nope, I don't want to make my bed." By the way we have the greatest bed making solution this week that I found called “zip it” for anybody who struggle...
SUNNY GAULT: I know “zip it”. Yeah
WENDY SNYDER: I feel like my whole life has changed.
SUNNY GAULT: Me too. Well I don't have it. But when I saw it. Well because when I went to an Expo where it's being demonstrated I'm like this could save my life. Cause my boys are on bunk-beds. So the top bunk is so difficult and it's always like the sheets are always everywhere and it's so hard for me to make the bed or for him to make the bed.
WENDY SNYDER: Sunny it's going to change your life. It really will.
SUNNY GAULT: It probably will. We'll probably tell people what it is.
JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah, I have no idea what you are talking about.
WENDY SNYDER: It's a very simple bedding that kids just zip up like a sleeping bag but the fabrics a little bit nicer. It retails for about 60 dollars and it's incredible they have a probably you know over 20 pattern and kids love it. They love feeling responsible
JOHNER RIEHL: So instead of making the bed they zip up
SUNNY GAULT: You literally zip it. It's kind of like deluxe version of a sleeping bag but it's like in the bed it's like actual sheets but it's just one big zip.
JOHNER RIEHL: That's pretty awesome.
SUNNY GAULT: It is pretty awesome.
WENDY SNYDER: So you could really start that young with kids, really young.
JOHNER RIEHL: But that also may just led to look at it from a broader perspective for folks that don't necessarily have “zip it” that away and I think were jumping ahead at bit but a way to get kids and be excited with chores is to make them fun. And to find ways or things that may get kind of a cool thing. Jules how about you? When did you start the chores with your girls?
JULES MASS: We started between I want to say 3 to 4 years of age and we always try to include them in doing stuff. They are always really interested in trying to help me cook but it was all like everybody wanted to help me at the same time, I mean it's a relatively medium sized kitchen but having 3 kids right next to you around the stove was very stressful.
JOHNER RIEHL: Oh yes, we face that too and you feel horrible saying no because you want to encourage them to help.
JULES MASS: But you know 10 minutes into it I'm about ready to lose my mind. We had start finding other things to do and so like you said with the diapers, we did some of that. We still have one girl who uses night underwear and she takes care of that. They are trying to make their bed, make the attempt.
JOHNER RIEHL: It needs zippers it turns out.
JULES MASS: We did old school charts for awhile because it even grated with our prodding training. At first we had, 3 girls the same age but they are all potty trained in different ways and different timelines. And so when 2 were pretty much done we still had one who is struggling.
She was very reward motivated but the other 2 are getting confused as to why she was getting rewards and they weren't and so we came up with the chore chart where they could put stickers on different things that that they were helping with like putting away dishes and like little dusting like we used the swifter dusters and crazy dusting stuffs. They didn't actually dust anything but they were helping.
JOHNER RIEHL: Well I'm glad that you were able to kind of loop them in and I think when you're talking about there seems to be a difference between a kid that wants to help and then also giving them chores which are short of regular responsibilities. And the help can sometimes get frustrating because I think last night I put something in the oven and then my 4 year old comes in "I want to help" I'm like".
Sorry buddy I wish you have said that 2 minutes ago." We could have something, total temper tantrum meltdown because he couldn't help. But if it had been a chore that was like it's somebody turn to help with dinner then maybe that might have prevented it. So I think chores have probably a little bit of fore-planning and preparation to get ready for.
So what are some benefits to kids to doing chores? Just apart from getting the chore done. Why is it so good for kids to be involved?
WENDY SNYDER: A lot of times we see... especially if kids who love to be leaders or feel powerful. Which is a lot of kids including really both of mine. We really see increased behavior, we see kids trying to connect more and feel like their more valuable and that they are contributing more to the family.
I definitely saw at my daughter was a toddler and she's now eight. When we first started realizing that she really wanted to have more responsibility and she wanted to be in-charge of more things. We would start giving them the chores she had actually fun jobs so she was president of her room or she was CEO of dog. Kids love that kind of stuff but we really saw that it helped her little soul feel better and it help her shine.
We see a lot of that with kids and anytime you're helping a kid feel more valuable and like they are contributing and like they are part of a team. They smile more, they love it. Not to say that there's never hiccups but a lot of times you do see increased self-esteem when they do something and you get to acknowledge and say, "Look at that you did it. You don't need my help." And so with the kid front that's when it feels like it's really beneficial.
JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah absolutely helps the kids in...
JULES MASS: I've seen that with my girls too.
JOHNER RIEHL: And what about us parents?
WENDY SNYDER: And so as parents I really think that's it's just nice to know you're not alone in this giant heap of tasks. And so we talked about when you a thousand things to do you want to feel that everyone in the family is contributing. Cause if you always are feeling like you're the one who's picking up the bathroom on a constant state it could really get frustrating.
So that's definitely one of the biggest benefits and just being able to work with your kids as a team you know start solidifying the idea from a very early age that our family is a team. We all do things, we all contribute and it's just a lot more fun to get through life like that.
JOHNER RIEHL: Totally. I think that's good to underscore all those family values as well. But the team also isn't necessarily equal like the chores still aren't equal and everyone's doing their part that's appropriate for them. But that's also a good lesson to learn for kids as well. So I think there's a lot of good positive things associated with involving kids in the chores.
I think this will be a good spot for a quick break. When we come back let's talk about more specific chores. I know there's a ton of them, ton of cool ideas and maybe some cool like some ideas you haven't thought about before for example going home after this and there's no doubt I'm going to make my kid the mayor of the room.
I might even do a campaign and make posters or something. Hey baby mom and dad have to vote so you got to earn our vote but it's really cute there are fun ways to give them honor. Alright, we'll be right back.
[Theme Music]
JOHNER RIEHL: Welcome back everybody. Today we are talking about chores for your toddlers and now comes the really exciting part. We're really going to talk about some ideas about ways to get them involved. They might be stuff you already thought off, there might be some ideas that, "Hey, that's a really great idea" and something that we can maybe start to get kids involved in.
So let's talk about even just by ages. We talked a little bit about getting young kids involved and so like when do you think is a good time to get them involved? Is it really as soon as they're like I would say, if I have to put a date on it's like 2, right?
WENDY SNYDER: Yeah, and with the diaper example that's probably as soon as they start walking and they can carry their diaper over to the fun pail so and then kind of go from there.
JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah, so we’re talking about months. Alright let's talk about some more chore ideas.
WENDY SNYDER: More chore ideas. Laundry comes to mind for sure and I really think it's important to make sure we're looking at our kids and figuring out what makes each one tick, right? Because it may sound silly but one may love laundry the other doesn't. My older one is really a lot harder to get motivated by chores; my younger one was just swiffer at the house for me right before I left. It was beautiful.
Kids love swifferings speaking of swiffering, they love doing laundry; they love... especially the young ones love matching socks. How many times do you have socks that just disappear? Send them on hunts you know they can go...
JOHNER RIEHL: We've a whole pile unmatched socks just because they never...
WENDY SNYDER: Do any of the unmatched socks actually match. They're just on the pile.
JOHNER RIEHL: I'm sure they do and so what happens is prior the other one's goes and just as crazy pile. So that's a good idea.
WENDY SNYDER: Organizing Tupperware those types of things are kind of helping them learn to as they go. Definitely I feel like starting with their rooms is a really good place to start. Because that is kind of their domain and they really need to have that going from an early age and I think it's a little bit easier to understand that concept that they're in-charge of their own space.
And then as they get older they can start contributing to other areas like the dishes or the laundry and things like that. And you know things like the dishes you can always give them a little side Tupperware, if they can do it outside or on a tile floor. They love bubbles and they love... I found that my kids love doing dishes if you're patient and are okay with a giant mess.
JOHNER RIEHL: But I think that's actually a super important part. I know it's funny but and it goes back when we talk about cooking with kids too. That you have to sort of understand that A.) They don't know how to do all these stuff right away. And so you just can't say load the dishwasher. I think we actually told our 8 year old earlier this year, "Oh you want to help, cool load the dishwasher."
He stared at it and was like, "How does this thing work?" like "What are you talking about?" "How do I start the dishwasher?" He wanted to help but I'm like, "That's right, we have to teach him." You don't just know. But I think also you have to be able to put up with a little bit of mess and sort of get's them with that and understand it's all part of more benefits in the bigger picture.
WENDY SNYDER: And imperfection right? So the lumpy bed or the dishwasher loaded wrong. We always tell our parents you know if you really want them to say improve their bed, they load the dishwasher just model it. Keep modeling and let them know maybe if you make your bed perfectly smooth you can bring them in and say "Look how smooth this is. Isn't that feel nice?"
But the more you model it the more likely they're going to learn a little bit quicker than just going and redoing their bed or saying you know this isn't quite right, let me show you how to do it right. It's kind of tricky, if they feel like we’re correcting them sometimes they can resist and say "No thanks, I don't want to do these anymore.
JOHNER RIEHL: Husbands might be a little bit kind of similar like different too like sometimes just tell us what we're doing wrong? Model it for us. It's the opposite.
JULES MASS: I'm the worst at that because we don't have any previous kids. I don't have a hell lot of experience before them with other kids and so being able to tolerate a mess is so hard. And I have to remind myself I'm really bad at it. I just let them do it, let it go.
JOHNER RIEHL: So what chores are the greatest hits either at your house Jules or that you've seen kids really when take a shine to and really want to do it. It sounds like things with devices like the swiffer or a vacuum...
JULES MASS: They like the swiffer, the one thing that works for our favor is that chores somehow make them feel special because their accomplishing things and they are responsible for it. They all want to do the same thing and so there's a huge fight like I have to have 3 of the same swiffers, the same size. Because there's one for fans and they will fight over that one.
JOHNER RIEHL: Do they have to be of the same color?
JULES MASS: No the colors don't matter yet. He meant the pink, green and blue then yes that would be an issue but they're all yellow. But that's a big one, sweeping is a big one, feeding the cat is huge.
JOHNER RIEHL: Pets is a great way to get kids to help out, right?
JULES MASS: They are so into feeding our cat. They're just crazy.
JOHNER RIEHL: Can they handle litter box stuff.
JULES MASS: No, but I think that's mainly me. Like it's just too gross and...
WENDY SNYDER: My 5 year old loves to do the litter box.
JOHNER RIEHL: Oh, really
WENDY SNYDER: And we just love to scrub like a medical op. A medical pre-surgery afterwards. He loves it.
JOHNER RIEHL: And that's the thing is you never know. Just because maybe you think it's gross maybe the kids will be able to jump right into it.
JULES MASS: Well I think for me it's more of not listeria but the taxoplosmosis.
JOHNER RIEHL: Oh yeah, you're talking about disease.
JULES MASS: It's like no, I can't let anybody touch that. But now we're beyond that. And so I will probably let them try that one.
WENDY SNYDER: One thing of our list.
JOHNER RIEHL: So what about just like cleaning up the house? I mean, is that a chore or just should be responsibility? And then where do you draw the line when we're talking about rewards and I think we can get into sort of monetary compensation on one hand it's a great motivator to say, "Hey if you guys" and we have kind of experimental with this.
I've seen people put literally taped dollar bills on a chore chart and be like, "Hey if you take out the trash. This dollar is yours." or for us we were saying, "If you do this, it's a quarter of this, it's a quarter or we'll give you money at the end of the week or there's other rewards." But there's probably a line somewhere between it's your responsibility to keep the house going versus you shouldn't just be motivated by money to do it. So what are your thoughts on that?
WENDY SNYDER: Yeah, gets tricky. We really encourage parents just to look at it really as a same thing. Chores and responsibilities are really on the same page and then if like kids are really money motivated they can do extra stuff. The extra stuff like washing the car or if the cats litter thing is not on the uhm, you know some people are going to think it's really gross. So that's really they're making extra money.
But as far as what we encourage parents to do is they like charts. Charts are a wonderful way to encourage kids to do things and if they are young you can do pictures to do the charts. And then we always say, "Use stars if you want new stickers" We encourage parents to just celebrate the success of reaching your goal.
If you made your bed all week and you have 5 stars you know let's celebrate by having a dance party of Friday night or maybe going out to dinner or having an ice cream party or taking a walk at night time which we never do, we're always on the bed by 7 let's say. And so we kind of celebrate that way because we just want to be careful about setting up our kids to not always be expecting things when we're it's just part of the family.
So we don't get paid for taking them to school or for making their lunches. We just do it because that just part of being a family. So by the time they are teenagers we really just want them to be used to things. So of course money does motivate many kids in a really fast, really good way however sometimes there's some downfall to it. We just always encourage to go ahead and do it with the success, you reach your goal. If you run a marathon, it's not necessary that the medal you get at the end it's just having the feeling of accomplishment and kids really do enjoy that.
JOHNER RIEHL: I think that's a really good point. I think that it is honestly we struggled with but it's that's us looking for motivation to get them to get it done. Because I think being part of team really isn't quite enough. I think they are looking for something besides... I'm already on this team; I don't need to contribute...
SUNNY GAULT: We have a chart in our house. It's magnetic actually; it was Melissa and Doug thing...
JOHNER RIEHL: I've seen those.
SUNNY GAULT: You can write some stuff on there if they don't already have it on their list but the whole point is you can kind of move them around and stuff and then you have it like the days in the week are there and you've got this little like magnets like star magnets.
So if they accomplish it you know just kind of going to goes across and you get all these different stars. And we're not in the point yet where we've been able to successfully get all those stars but my goal is this is something I've been thinking about cause I'm like, "What happens when they actually do it all these stars?" Because right now it's not an issue it's like, "Oh we didn't do it this week. Maybe next week. Let's keep trying."
But I never really said, "Wow, when the chart is full this is going to happen." But they love that chart but I may have to switch to more than app type format because my 2 year olds likes to come-in and wants to mess with the chart and now they can climb and get up there and I'm like "Wait, he didn't do that. Oh the babies got in there."
WENDY SNYDER: And for the parents who are trying you know if you're interested in trying more of the motivation by let's just celebrate the success when we buy charcoal but yet maybe you're still doing... you're paying for chores, giving monetary rewards. And that's a way to switch it up is what we encourage is “money management 101”.
So what that looks like is you can tell your kids, "Well we're not necessary going to pay you if you clean your room but we are going to start doing money management in our home and what that is basically we just start giving our kids a certain amount each week and they put a third towards giving, and a third towards spending, a third towards savings and they get that no matter what happens every week.
It's just part of us teaching them financial responsibility and they really love looking forward to that. And that sometimes that can really encourage them to do their regular responsibilities just because we're not putting an if then on the money that we give them. We're just giving it to them because that is what we feel as one of the responsibilities as parents to teach our kids how to financially manage their money.
So then you can kind of find a way to untie it and you can come back to "I'm going to do my responsibilities for the day because that's my contribution to my family. You're going to do yours because that's your contribution and then at the end of the week you're still going to get your money management. And if they want to save up for a toy they can use the spending money to do that or if they want to save up for a big trampoline or a vehicle they can use their savings for that.
That's a really great way to kind of switch up if you've got money involved and you want to try to get away from it a little bit.
JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah, I think that's one of the things that is key to what we’re talking about is you could have both the good feeling of internal intangible rewards but also do physical rewards that aren't tying money exactly to each chores and try to go with an idea to unravel those things.
WENDY SNYDER: And you can always have the extras. My daughter is so money motivated, it's a challenge for her to be in a house that doesn't pay her for chores but she makes so much money she sells rocks, she washes cars, she walks dogs, she sells...
SUNNY GAULT: You've got a little entrepreneur right there.
WENDY SNYDER: She sells anything. It's amazing.
JOHNER RIEHL: Alright, so let's just see if we could come up with some more ideas on ways to make chores fun. There are stuffs that you've heard about.
WENDY SNYDER: Music is a great way to make chores fun. If you all do it at the same time, you guys can play your music and have a dance party while you do it. Again we really charts are great because for the little ones especially they can create the chart themselves with pictures from magazines or the internet. You can maybe go to the dollar store and get some new glue and glitter. I just made a new chart with my daughter two days ago because we were really kind of struggling with some chores and she is so proud with the new chart we made.
Again she's 8 but she's so proud of the new chart. We framed it, it's got pretty paint on it and she uses words at that eight. But for the little ones they have pictures and they make it themselves, it really helps motivate them.
JOHNER RIEHL: Every time we make a new chart for something whether it's bedtime or something and I'm reminded by how much pride and ownership the kids take. And the chart means everything, "Oh it says it on the chart. Oh we going to do it, it's the chart."
WENDY SNYDER: And you know what's nice about the chart you guys is you can say one word, "chart." You know a lot of times as parents we start talking so much that we tire ourselves out and they just stop listening because they become parent deaf. So with chart you can just point or say, "Chart" and they look at it and they know what to do. Whether it's bed time or morning or just you know, "Oh it's four o'clock the whole family is doing our chart, you know our responsibilities now one word is beautiful.
JOHNER RIEHL: And so really if it's trying to work with them on just finding some sort of representation for each chore that you are talking about. I really like the music idea too. Sometimes my life feels like there's too much noise in the house if you start doing music and all the other stuff. And I'm always like let's crank up the music.
SUNNY GAULT: Really? Too much noise with kids? Never. But that's really good too I just know with little kids like clean up time, with a little clean-up song and automatically they are cleaning-up and I'm like, "Hey, music helps."
WENDY SNYDER: Yeah, it does.
JOHNER RIEHL: Anything that's popping in your head Jules?
JULES MASS: No, I'm actually my head's spinning because I'm like, "This is awesome." Because I have do fall in a trap, this is our routine and our day. We put on music in the weekends but during the day, during the week it's not so much I'm so doing this tomorrow they're going to preschool or have lunch and at 4 O'clock we're going to do the music and see what happens.
They get really distractible but I think to go back to what you said earlier in the show, the consistency thing. We actually quit doing the chart because they had it down and we wanted to get away from having to having an incentive to do something rather than just doing it because it needed to be done or have a sense of pride doing it.
So now we'll just ask them to do something but I'm loving making your own chart because typically I've been making it but now they are at the point where they are starting to write their letters and I can trust them with scissors and stuff like that so I'm literally just imagining all the arts and crafts stuffs I'm going to get at the dollar store tomorrow and we're going to go to town.
JOHNER RIEHL: We are obviously rewards based in our family. So one of things we will do is say like, "Alright, this playroom is a disaster you guys really need to do better in putting away the toys." or if there's some sort of we all need to pitch-in together. We'll set a timer and say, "Alright, we have 15 minutes and so let's go and at the end of 15 minutes we'll have popcorn or something like that."
WENDY SNYDER: Great idea.
JOHNER RIEHL: And so the kids really get into the deadline driven stuff but also know sometimes its five minutes sometimes it's ten. But also know that I'm not going to be stuck picking up the house all day like I'll just do it now and then I can go do what I want to do and they get really into it. Always by the end of it we're always really happy as a family like, "Yey team", and look at everything that was done.
Another thing we'll do is just to throw out into them, Alright, before like they'll come home or they'll do their homework, "Alright before you're going to go play after your homework. Find 3 things and put them away." And they'll try to be like, "Well here are my shoes those are two things." But you know what they're still getting their shoes put away or whatever if they haven't done it. That's great.
I've really enjoyed this conversation and I think learned some things too and this will be a definitely one of those things I'll make sure that Cristina's listens too as well. Sometimes I say things that I'm like, "Maybe you should listen too." I shouldn't have said that, this going to be like, "You should listen to it."
Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you Jules for joining us as well and thanks to everyone for listening. For more information about this or if you want to learn more about Wendy you can visit our website at and Wendy I think you also have a website as well that we can link to but you can certainly mention it.
WENDY SNYDER: Thank you so much. Thank you guys so much for having me this was so much fun and my website is and if you want to learn more I've got an upcoming positive parenting class in Carlsbad coming up and so check it out.
JOHNER RIEHL: We'll have that on the website and then... Oh yeah we'll going to continue the conversation. Yeah that's right I'm like wrapping it up.
SUNNY GAULT: I guess it's time to go...
JOHNER RIEHL: No, it's Parents Savers Club bonus opportunity time so we'll have a bonus conversation for you Parent Savers Club members right after this.
[Theme Music]
JODI: Hi Parent Savers. This is Jodi with Urbansitter a website that connects you to friend tested sitters. I'm here to help you figure out the right questions to ask when searching for a babysitter. When am I going to need a sitter? When I'm embarking on the search for babysitter it's important to ask yourself when am I going to use this sitter. Do you need a fast responder that can be available for spur of the moment work functions? Perhaps someone primarily available in the evenings for date nights? Or dependable sitter that covered scheduled daytime events such as doctor’s appointments?
If you need someone on short notice then you're going to need to find someone who lives nearby and responds quickly to requests. Also be sure to confirm the sitter’s transportation situation. You'll need to pick them up or do they have a reliable way to get to your home. Some sitters are only looking for occasional work on the weekends while others maybe out for consistent part time work.
So set expectations upfront so neither you or the sitter is disappointed when the job is declined. The goal is to build yourself a network of sitters with a range of availability so you were never left in a bind. None of us should have to depend on one sitter. Let's face it, most babysitters are young adults who are still learning to be responsible. Look for a sitter who responds quickly to your emails or phone-calls and it's a good indication that they will show-up to your babysitting job on time.
Okay, Parent Savers it's time to say hello to your old friends spontaneity. Visit to find and book babysitters your friends know and love.
JOHNER RIEHL: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Parent Savers.
Don’t forget to check out our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed
• This is Twin Talks for parents of multiples and
• Newbies for those going through it for the first time.
Thanks again for joining us. This is Parent Savers- empowering new parent.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line-up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows, through a co-branded podcast, visit
[End of Audio]