Making Life Manageable at the Beginning of the School Year: Family Contributions vs. Family Jobs

Making Life Manageable at the Beginning of the School Year: Family Contributions vs. Family Jobs

Now that the school year is officially rolling and the back to school frenzy is over our kids are settling in at home and at school.

One of my favorite new resources I found for this school year is a book by Amy McCready titled, “The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic – A Step by Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World.”

One of my biggest takeaways from this book has been a new system I’m trying with our seven year old for managing chores. Chores are a hard topic right? If you think back to when you were a kid and your parents used the word chores it probably evokes some annoying memories as well.

In her book, Amy explains that the word chore is not a pleasant word for any of us. She instead encourages us to embrace the phrases family contributions and family jobs.

After reading Amy’s book and deciding on a plan for my own family this is what I have come up with. Family contributions are things every member of the family does to contribute to the household but we do not get paid to do it. Examples in our family are: mom cooks, dad mows, and kids clean up their toys. Family jobs are things the kids can do to earn allowance. Examples include: washing car, vacuuming, and cleaning baseboards.

While we are still working out the difference between what we want our sons contributions to be versus what jobs he can do to earn money, we have seen his attitude toward both become more positive without the use of the word “chores.” We also noticed a positive attitude shift once we

pointed out that we as parents do many contributions for the family we don’t get paid to do, but we do them because we love our family and home and it’s our responsibility.

A moment ago I mentioned the word allowance. In her book, Amy recommends parents buy stuff only for birthdays, holidays and change of season. Anything else kids should have to buy with their allowance. Yes, you may have to read that a few times because that is a reality check. But I love that idea! She also says don’t wait too long to start giving an allowance (we did) because your kids are ready for an allowance when they start asking for stuff.

This mindset shift is harder to instill in your child as they get older. Our seven year old is so used to me getting him something from the dollar section at Target for no reason, that it is a change when I tell him he has to use his own money. However, it is so worth it once you get the system going.

I encourage you to try this system out for yourself. If you want more specifics Amy’s book is a must read!

The printables that I used to set up my system were some I had previously had from Modern Parents Messy Kids, “Kids Responsibility and Money Management Kit.” This kit comes with morning and night routine printables as well.

This is a new season and a new school year and a great time to introduce a new system to help make your life more manageable!

Autumn ~ Thanks for sharing with us!

Autumn Leopold

Autumn Leopold

Autumn Leopold Enterprises, Ltd.
Professional Organizer
Blog and Social Media Coach For Small Businesses

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  1. I love this phrase… “family contribution”. Definitely instills a concept in a way that “chores” just doesn’t. I wish I had heard of this when my girls were little.

  2. I love the idea of family contributions and family responsibilities. Most parents feel overwhelmed by all there is to do at home and often neglect creating a team effort. By contributions everyone has a role. These roles can be combined where family members work in teams or partnerships too. Thanks for sharing Kathy and Autumn!

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