After a month of settling in and enduring several days of meltdowns, endless requests for DVDs and learning games, and overall whiny, grumbling hearts (from everyone!), I took a couple of hours one afternoon to pray and make a plan for my toddler and preschooler.
Children thrive on routine.
They feel safe and more balanced when there is structure and predictability to their days. With all the changes our family has been going through these last few months, it was time to develop a new workable routine for our family.
In the mix of our entire family’s need for routine, my preschooler has taken an incredible interest in money. Not only that, but his “I need this” and “I need that” tendencies were increasing each time we went to a store together.
Therefore, I put together a new morning routine for my toddler and preschooler that included chores to do because you are a part of our family and chores my four year old could do to earn money.
I know that children earning money for chores is a controversial topic. Personally, I was never paid for chores growing up, and I wasn’t given an allowance. I never had money of my own to manage unless someone gave it to me for my birthday or Christmas.
This is all well and good if this is how you want to raise your children, but on this side of the decision my parents made, I wish I had come away from my parents house with a better understanding of money and how to use it.
When my husband and I got married, finances were a difficult topic for us. I was clueless and during my years post high school, I had racked up an incredible amount of debt. We paid it all off in a few years once we got married (maybe I’ll share about it some day), but it was hard.
So I say all of that to say this: we plan to allow our children to do chores to earn money so that we can guide them through how to manage their money. We want to start this habit early so that they know money doesn’t grow on trees and that it requires work from someone (Mommy, Daddy, etc.) to be able to buy the things we need and the things we want.
Our new morning routine for our children reflect this desire to teach our children how to work diligently while giving them a predictable rhythm to their day.
Since implementing this routine, we’ve seen tremendous change in both of our children. Our oldest is learning to work hard without complaining, and his day is started off with a predictable routine he can count on.
This routine takes about 15-30 minutes to completed depending on what chore we choose, and sometimes we don’t do the chore until the afternoon. However, both boys are enjoying the routine and our days go so much smoother. We can tell when we don’t complete the morning routine!
Our Morning Routine
We begin our morning routine after breakfast.
The first thing we do is family devotions. You can read all about our family devotions routine here.
We do family devotions at the breakfast table before we break away and head our separate directions.
Next, my husband (I have work time right after breakfast for a couple of hours) takes the boys to their room to help them get dressed and tidy up.
We have them fold their pajamas and put them in their drawers (actually our 18 month old just stuffs the clothes in the drawer, but my four year old knows how to fold his clothes). They put away any toys, blankets, or dirty clothes from the floor.
Then, my four year old makes his bed while Daddy helps the littlest make his.
Lastly everyone brushes their teeth and tidies up the bathroom.
At this point, the boys help Daddy in his room and my husband follows the same general routine as the boys.
Finally, my four year old is given a chore. Right now this includes anything from helping load the dishwasher to sorting laundry to picking up sticks in the yard to vacuuming a designated area of the house to helping his brother put his jacket on.
The focus is on the introduction of work. As he grows, more and more of the chores of this nature will become mandatory, non-paid chores. But for now, these are chores he gets paid for because we are keeping it simple on ourselves as the parents.
We didn’t create a chore chart of assigned work. That’s just too much for us. We just come up with something that he can do to help us in what we need to accomplish that day.
We have decided to pay our son $.25 for each chore completed each week and pay day is on Saturday.
There are a couple of rules that he must follow:
1. He can’t do a chore for pay until the morning routine is completed.
2. The morning routine must be completed with a happy heart. We give tally marks for each time we have to correct attitudes of grumbling and complaining. We also give tally marks at other times of day when work is required like cleaning up toys, setting the table, etc.
When he reaches five tally marks, he has to pay us a quarter. Usually one or two tally marks gets his attention, and we have been able to move through our routine and chores with joy and gratitude.
Overall, this routine and plan for chores has been working really well. My husband and I have found that we enjoy it more than our kids do! Routines are good for all of us. I’m a big believer in creating routines around tasks that we do every single day. I talk about routines a lot in my eCourse.
A Free Printable for You
When I shared a picture of our new morning routine on Instagram, many of your asked me to share our printable. Click the LINK below the image to download your FREE printable.
This is the one we use, but you can easily create one to fit your needs. It took me about 30 minutes to get it the way I wanted it.
I keep it in a simple folder inside a sheet protector. We use a dry erase marker to check things off the list. At the end of the week, I add up the check marks to know how much to pay him.
What about you? Do you have a morning routine that you follow? Have you found it helpful?
Other posts you might like:
- Developing a Simple Schedule and Routine
- A Grace-Filled Approach to Creating a Routine
- Establishing Toddler Routines
You’re not alone.
The Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers is a downloadable eBook designed to help you teach early learning skills to your child while instilling God’s truth. One week at a time, I will guide you through sharing the Gospel with your child through various Bible stories and learning opportunities.
Click here to learn more!
This post contains my affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy here.