From my stack of parenting books, I pulled out some tricks. I encouraged Stella to take deep breaths as I tried to as well. I asked if she wanted to go to the cool down corner or stomp her feet. I was in a #MomFail moment and I knew I needed to change course quickly.
Stella was still fussy in the car and wanted to go right to Toys R Us. Once in the Jewel parking lot I explained that we needed to trade in the change for paper money. The girls wanted to know what I was talking about so I pulled out a dollar bill to show them. The girls loved dumping their change bags into the coin machine and receiving the voucher. They were so intrigued as we exchanged the voucher for $65.43 from customer service. Stella and Sophia were much happier as we headed back into the car.
The girls raced into Toys R Us and quickly found their baby dolls. We also picked out an awesome baby stroller. At the register I had the girls pay with their money and they loved it. We left the store with happy campers and clamors for doing more chores to earn more money.
While I was happy that I was able to calm Stella down and worked on a money lesson with the girls, I realized from my #MomFail moment that I needed to do a lot more about teaching the girls the value of money. But, I wasn’t sure how.
We Need More Structure
When you create chores in the app you identify which days the chores should be completed. As I was setting up the chores I quickly realized we are a little loose in our household chores structure. I get caught up in the busyness of school, the girls activities, and other things we have going on. When things are hectic, I sometimes let the chores slide. Just setting up the app made me realize we need a better plan and I know that regular chores help the girls learn responsibility and the lessons about the value of money.
I had to laugh at myself as I started setting up the rewards. Please don't judge me! I clearly need to think more about how we reward the girls. Again, life is hectic and I sometimes go for easy. The first rewards I entered were for ice cream and toys. Our family loves ice cream and we have a dollar store a few blocks away. We had fallen into some bad habits. As I looked at the list I realized I needed to do a better job of talking with the girls about some goals and healthier options for our physical wellbeing and our wallets. I added going to the park and playing miniature golf. The app has some cool backend technology as the healthy park reward turned green with a “Pick me!” tag. While we had previously talked with the girls about long term goals like saving to go to a water park versus saving for a small toy, I still need to work on good short and long term reward planning for the family!
As we upped our chores activities in our home I noticed that the girls were enjoying being a bigger part of the family team. They would call out for me to come check out what they were doing and had huge smiles. Stella loves to sweep the porch and Sophia loves to clean up toys. Sophia likes to help set the table and Stella likes to help fold towels. I need to work on including them more in our home jobs as their smiles of pride melt my heart and help them learn and grown.
We Need to Have More Financial Conversations
Sophia, Stella and I have some good financial conversations while grocery shopping. They know I love coupons, sales, and a good deal. The Chore Pal app reminded me though that we need to have a lot more conversations about earning money, saving, setting goals, and helping others. Even though they are four, they understand a lot and we need to get going on better financial planning!
Chores Can Be Fun
So COUNTRY Financial knows that kids like technology and created a great, parent and kid friendly app. Sophia and Stella are amazing with my iPhone. While they can’t read yet, I was able to talk with them about the chores and they hit the right buttons on the app to earn rewards. They also thought the badges were fun and like that they have a green piggy bank. The Chore Pal app is easy to use and fun for our family.
(Disclaimer – This is not an ad! I worked in the insurance industry for almost nine years and I had the opportunity to work with many amazing insurance companies. I know many of the awesome people at COUNTRY Financial and follow them on Twitter. I stumbled upon the Chores Pal app and decided to use it. They do not know I’m writing this post but I’m going to tweet about it! COUNTRY Financial does an outstanding job of encouraging financial security conversations and I hope you check out the Chore Pal app.)