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This Mom Has One Clever Solution to Get Her Three Sons to Do Chores
  • There is serious magic in a treasure chest. As a young girl, I remember our elementary school librarian had a treasure chest filled with small toys that she would give as a reward for a reading accomplishment. The toys in the treasure chest didn't last longer than a day — they were cheap — but the magic of the chest has lived on into my mommyhood. 

    A few years ago, I wised up and repurposed the treasure chest trick with my little minions and rebranded it as "The Mommy Store." The title itself was hardly clever — I must have been on a creative lull and probably made the idea up out of desperation. However, the magic of The Mommy Store has been in full effect.

    Here’s how it works.

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    I have a lovely nice box with a lid that holds all the contents of The Mommy Store.

    • Monday through Friday the kids have a chart with chores (this is flexible) and also a payout at the end of each day.
    • We check in at bedtime to see how everyone in the family did that day. Sometimes we give the children, or ourselves, specific tasks to work on.
    • After our check-in, I use real money and pay my children Php20 every day for having done their work.
    • At the end of the week they pay mommy, using real money, to buy items from The Mommy Store. 
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    What are "for sale at The Mommy Store? Candy, books, slime, pens, bubbles, kites and Divisoria finds. 

    They can also purchase screen time and Time Zone credit. The prices of the items vary, so the children get fundamental lessons about saving and budgeting.

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    Other great lessons to be included can be donating toys and using money to help others. 

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    • The chores, payment and items from The Mommy Store differ for each age group. For example, my bunso is 3 years old (the earliest age I would start this tradition), so his chores are very simple and his store items are targeted towards his likes. The kuya of the family has more responsibility but can also earn more money and buy store items more appropriate for his likes. 
    • It ranges vary from experiences to candy and actual toys. I have started moving away from ‘toys’ as I feel my kids don’t need anymore physical items.

    This concept may not work for everyone, and that is okay! If you like the idea, take it and make it your own to fit your family’s needs. I have appreciated the lessons my children have learned from The Mommy Store about work, finances, and accountability.

    Amber Folkman, the blogger behind "A Momma Abroad," is a California native who spent her university years in Hawaii where she met her husband. After a few years in Seattle, her husband's work brought him to Manila where Amber and her eldest son relocated in 2009. They now have three crazy boys ages 6, 4 and 2, whom they refer to as "#3PinoyBoys" because life in the Philippines is all they know.

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