3. Don’t fill out every piece of paper for kids. Children are fully capable of writing their names and their addresses so why do some parents feel the need to fill in every blank for their kids? I rarely filled in the basic parts of school papers for Macy. Just as if she would need to fill in a job application, I let her fill in the parts of the school papers that she knew and I would teach her the rest. This worked well and gave us something to do while traveling down the road. By the time Macy graduated high school she was able to fill out and submit a single college application. I didn’t even see a college application. Macy applied and enrolled herself in college all on her own.
4. Let them do their own laundry. At age 7, after several warnings, when Macy continued to decide it would be easier to clean her room by dumping her clean laundry into the dirty basket so that she didn’t have to take time to properly put it away. It was simple – we taught her to do her own laundry! And she loved it. It was a challenge. She felt good about the process. In middle school, her school and basketball schedule became super busy. She would bring her laundry downstairs and we would make sure that her jerseys were put in the washing machine as soon as she came home from a game or practice. As a parent, this eliminated the stress of a working mom having to ensure her favorite t-shirts or jeans were cleaned “on-time”. When Macy started college she called me to say that she was one of the only people that knew how to do laundry.
5. Make a list of personal house chores and have them clean their own spaces. Even though we had a wonderful house mom to help with the cleaning and laundry, we did not expect nor did we allow her to do everything for Macy. There was a list of chores such as dusting, vacuuming, baseboards being clean, toys being put away in her playroom, folded clothes being in the right drawer, her bathroom being straightened, etc. If all was accomplished by the end of the week, she would get a $1 for each item on her list. Her spaces consisted of her bedroom, playroom, and her bathroom tidy. When Mama Barbara’s knees got bad and she could no longer clean the baseboards throughout the rest of the house, Macy would get paid $5 or $10 for wiping down the 10″ baseboards throughout our entire 3,200 square foot house.
6. Create the first job for your kids and treat their allowance like a paycheck based on performance. Macy first began putting together boxes at my retail gift store. She learned to assemble, multiply, and count the money that she earned at the end of the day. Who needs toys when your mom is an interior designer and creative marketer? Really! There’s always a fabric room to be organized, boxes to be unpacked, flowers to be watered or something!
7. The way we bought wants and needs at the same time. When it came to wanting something, Macy always had a way to get it and it wasn’t handed to her. If she wanted the latest pair of True Religions and she was willing to spend her saved money for a half, I was willing to buy the other half. This showed me that she reallllllly wanted those $200 jeans! I think she only bought one pair of $200 ones before she realized that the ones from Nordstrom Rack and second-hand jeans from eBay or Poshmark wore just the same.
And yes, to answer your question…there is more on Macy! #MoreonMacy – subscribe to be notified as I post more parenting tips and to receive my letter to millennials.