Teaching your children the value of work

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Cottonelle, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CottonelleHoliday  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.

Last week I took William to the store to buy a new movie. He has wanted “Dinosaur Ice Age” for ever, and I told him that he could earn the money to get it. This isn’t the first time he has had to earn his new items; remember these fun sunglasses he wore to the fair?

Dragon Glasses for Little Boys

He worked for a week and a half to earn the $5 that would pay for these sunglasses. It made him appreciate them so much more, because they weren’t something that was just handed to him. He earned them, and he was proud of that. I love that even at age 4, I can instill in him a great work ethic and the reason for putting in hard work.

Back to buying our movie. When we went to pay, William handed the cashier his money and she made the remark “did your mom give you enough for the movie”, to which I replied “he earned the money himself just for this”. The cashier was shocked. She explained how she sees people buying tons and tons of toys all day and felt like kids were spoiled and that the young generation was becoming “entitled”. This made me sad, and I explained to her that I try to teach my children that money doesn’t grow on trees, and that mom and dad work hard to earn the money we have.

We haven’t started an allowance for our kids, although they have their weekly/daily chores that they need to do (find our chore chart here) and we all pitch in around the house. But we allow the kids to do “extras” to earn tickets which can then be exchanged for money when we go to purchase their toy or movie. They have also used their tickets/money to buy crafts, new scissors and other things they “want”. Trying to teach them that extra work and saving is needed for things that are not a necessity can be hard, but when starting at a young age, we are hoping to start them on the right track for their long future ahead.

And besides, at such a busy time of the year, I can always use some extra help around the holidays!

I told the cashier at the store that I would share these ideas here on the blog…so Wendy, this post is for you!

Teaching your kids the benefit of work with cottonelle #cottonelleholiday #ad #pmedia 3

The first way that the kids can earn their tickets is a huge help to me. I HATE putting away laundry….like HATE it. So when the kids can help, I am 100% on board with letting them. When we first started letting them put away their laundry, they would just put it in some drawer, making things hard to find. So I came up with this fun system. I cut out clothing shapes using my cricut cutting machine. I then laminated them and put one set on the corresponding drawer. I have a set that I keep with the laundry supplies so when I fold their laundry, I place the appropriate shapes on the pile. Then the kids can go find the matching shape and know which drawer they belong in. As you can tell from the photo above, they don’t get placed the nicest into the drawers…but we’re working one step at a time!

We have set a ticket amount for their extra jobs, the kids get 2 tickets (equal to $1) for each load of laundry!

Teaching your kids the benefit of work with cottonelle #cottonelleholiday #ad #pmedia 2

The kids got to pick out their paper for the shapes. Getting them involved in the whole process makes them more excited and willing to do the job.

Teaching your kids the benefit of work with cottonelle

Another way to earn tickets is kinda a “luck” job, but someone’s gotta do it! I don’t use their bathroom, and when I am in there I don’t really pay attention to how much toilet paper is on the roll. I have started getting Cottonelle’s triple roll packs (get a coupon for free kleenex when you purchase Cottonelle to use at target here, while supplies last) when I shop at target, and it’s helped. Because they don’t run out of paper as quickly, but when they do I usually get the “Mom, I need toilet paper cause I went poop” yell….not a fun one! haha. So I put this sign up, explained to the kids that if they finish off a roll and see this, they need to help me replace the roll. Then nobody will get stuck with no toilet paper, and as an added benefit they get a tp roll to play with (they usually end up being a telescope!). They know right where they can find the replacement rolls, and I try to always have a package open for them to grab from.

Teaching your kids the benefit of work | www.ourthriftyideas.com #cottonelleholiday #ad #pmedia

Speaking of replacing toilet paper rolls….are you an over or under? I freak out if it is under…although about a month ago I challenged myself to go a whole roll without switching it, AND I DID IT! But every time I looked at the tp roll, I almost had a heart attack! And I must admit, I may have taken like 6 squares each time I needed to blow my nose, blot my lipstick or wipe some makeup! haha. I made it disappear a little faster than it usually does!

Teaching your kids the benefit of work | www.ourthriftyideas.com #cottonelleholiday #ad #pmedia

We also give tickets for “spring cleaning” chores. Now this isn’t the everyday pick up your dishes, make your bed, pick up toys type of chores. Things like washing baseboards, helping dust the frames, disinfecting shelves and more are the ones that they can use as “ticket chores”.

This is a great one because I feel like it’s endless. And it also gives the kids a chance to come up with ideas on their own. The other day I walked outside to get after William for having turned on the hose, but instead I found him with a rag in hand washing all the dirt off his outside toys. He has become great at doing the work, then coming and letting me know it was done and asking me to check and make sure it is good enough for a ticket.

Teaching your kids the benefit of work | www.ourthriftyideas.com #cottonelleholiday #ad #pmedia

Knowing that he is catching on to the idea of working for what you want makes me proud. I don’t want to raise “entitled” kids like the cashier had told me she was noticing with the younger generation. I want to know that my kids are hard workers and wont take their things for granted.


What do you do to teach your children the benefit of hard work?

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  1. I love the idea of extras on top of some regular family chores! And I am the worst at putting clothes away. I can’t wait until Toasty is big enough to pawn that off on him!

  2. I love it! I am also trying to teach my kids this. Anytime my son asks for something at the store I tell him how much allowance money he has & if he really wants it, b/c once the money is gone, it’s gone! He is slowly catching on.

  3. Such a great idea! My daughter is only 2 but I’ve been starting to have her help with more and more so she can learn that our home is a community effort, not just Mom’s to take care of.

  4. Such great ideas! I love your signs 🙂

  5. This is such a great idea! I am a toilet paper over person – drives me nuts when it is under. My husbands Grandpa used to drive me nuts whenever he came over to visit. He would go in all my bathrooms and change the toilet paper to under. So after he would leave I would go into all the bathrooms and change it back. Who goes into someone elses home and changes the toilet paper to under??? I think its nuts but laugh about it now. 🙂

  6. Holy Cow! Why didn’t I think of the “ticket for the roll of toilet paper thing”! I was always the “toilet paper fairy” when my kids were growing up…they NEVER put the new roll on themselves! Great idea Vanessa. I LOVE that they are learning to work! Good mommy!

  7. My house is great at getting the replacement roll, they just put it on top of the toilet or on the sink next to the toilet instead of on the actual roll holder. I’m definitely going to start using the triple roll stuff.

  8. I love this post so much! This is a great reminder to me as a Mom to – teaching our kids the value of working “hard” to earn things we want. I especially love the “get a new roll” of toilet paper sign. As a Mom of three boys I need to hang that sign ASAP!!

  9. This is an awesome idea! I absolutely love how you are using this to teach and reward your kids.

  10. Great ideas Vanessa! A ticket for the toilet paper roll is brilliant!!

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