Speeding tickets, probation, late fees, reprimands, loss of a job, bad evaluations, etc.,
Consequences are a part of life.
It’s easy if you follow the rules, but break a law, don’t follow a rule, skip paying bills, and there will typically be a consequence, either monetary or other.
As a parent, we talk to our kids about rules, we put rules in place, we try to enforce rules, sometimes falling flat on our faces (think about “YOU’RE GROUNDED”- great, now I’m stuck in the house too!) 😉
In our house, we have rules. There are just things we do and don’t do for the respect and safety of the entire family. Most of the time, the rules are followed…notice I said most of the time.
One area of these rules is that of chores. I’ve always had the philosophy that if you live here, you don’t get paid to help. Making your bed, putting your clothes away, cleaning your room, etc., that’s all part of running a clean household and learning responsibility. Why should I pay you for that?
Wellllll…. I’m changing my tune just a bit.
Now before you go and decide I’m all wishy washy, hear me out.
I’ve decided to change my mind in honor of teaching kids the value of money AND the importance of rules/laws.
Hence, the birth of THE NONCOMPLIANCE TAX
Here’s how it works:
Each child is given a “salary” – just like the real world they get a set amount of money each month- I know some folks work hourly and the pay fluctuates but roll with me here
A list of ’employment opportunities’ are centrally listed – everyone needs to know what the jobs are, how to do each one, when it needs to be done, etc.
Each job is then assigned a ‘taxable’ amount – say $1 for picking up their laundry and putting it down the laundry shoot, $1.50 for loading and unloading the dishwasher, etc.
Each child gets ‘paid’ at the beginning of the month – At this point there is not any actual cash exchanging hands. Using a notebook or wipe off board write the child’s name and the salary amount, the amount isn’t important. Just make sure the taxes fit within the monthly salary and seem reasonable. For example don’t pay your child $10 a month and then make wiping the table a $5 tax. See?
Let the taxing begin– this will be easier to understand with an example
Lets say Susie gets a salary of $30 a month. Her mom goes to the white board and under Susie’s name, she writes $30. Mom and Susie have sat down together and talked about the expectations and what her jobs will be. Susie knows she is supposed to have her room cleaned by Monday of each week; Do a pick up of her room twice a week; it’s her job to take the trash out when the can is full; she has to pick up her wet towel off the bathroom floor after every shower, no back talk is allowed, and she has to put her laundry away on the day laundry is washed.
The week begins and on Tuesday Susie’s room still isn’t clean. Mom doesn’t nag her or even remind her. Mom simply goes to the board, sees what the Non-Compliance Tax is for not cleaning the room and deducts that from Susie’s pay.
Later in the week, mom notices the trash can is overflowing and spilling onto the floor. No yelling, begging, pleading…mom simply deducts the Non-Compliance tax for this job from Susie’s pay.
At the end of the month, let’s say Susie forgot to do a lot of her jobs and has been taxed a lot. She only gets $5 of her original $30. Next month Susie has the opportunity to be more responsible and does so, therefore making her entire $30!
Pay Day– at the end of the month, give the child whatever money they have earned regardless of what it is. For the first couple of times it may be a very small amount or even nothing, but they had the opportunity to make more and didn’t take it. So it’s their problem, not ours.
Here are a few disclaimers about this system:
- It’s going to be easier to use with slightly older children (I think 5 is old enough to understand the system on a smaller scale – fewer jobs, less pay, smaller taxes, reminders allowed. Older children- more jobs, fewer reminders or none at all, more pay, higher taxes.
2. There are going to be times when mom and dad are going to have to suck it up and do a chore that was not completed. Hey, you get to keep the money so no complaining 🙂
3. Responsibility can be a very difficult thing to learn especially when there are few or no reminders that a job needs to be done. For the record, I would prompt the younger child because they don’t typically have the ability to remember what needs to be done and when. Older kids need to have the responsibility of remembering. We are preparing them for the real world and I can’t think of one college professor or boss who held my hand, babysat me or continually reminded me what I needed to have completed.
4. This doesn’t have to be limited to chores. Create taxes for curfew breaking, backtalk, misuse of property (cell phones, computers, etc), disrespect….get the idea?
Till Next Time,
Questions about the NONCOMPLIANCE TAX system?