Bathroom cleaning rewards and governing themselves

I realized this morning that part of the job chart stuff I had prepared yesterday wasn’t quite what I wanted. I needed to re-do it.

What I want

I want to help my children learn the process of learning to do something and be able to govern themselves more. So I decided to show the progression (as I understand it, which I’m positive is not a complete understanding) of learning how to clean something.

It is going to take some decision-making on their part, which is exactly what I want them to do. Once they are trained (demonstrating the first 3 principles of cleaning to me), then they can begin working on the rest of the principles.

Need new tracking chart, more definition

On the tracking chart, they will write 4B each day that they are working on learning how to clean well and fast. I needed to define “well” and “fast” so they know which parameters they are aiming for.

If they do that for 6 days, they will earn $10, which is more than $1/day (to do what they are required to do anyway). Then they will have to decide if they want to continue and go for the next amount. On day 7, if they decide to go for the next amount, they will write “4B” on that day. (I can see I need to change the tracking chart to simplify it.)

Decision: Make less per day but more in the end?

The amount diminishes the longer they progress, but it is still more cumulatively the longer they keep working on a principle. They can earn up to $25/month just doing their job and learning to do it better.


But it will be self-driven, because that is how it seems to me that God does things. He doesn’t force us. He is so patient and waits for us to come to him to ask, to seek, to knock. In our home, we are requiring our children to work, but we cannot force the learning. We are inviting them to learn at whatever speed they want and to earn as much as they want (up to our budget allotment).


“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Each child will work on this differently, I’m sure. One child might work on principle 4 the entire year. They will still be able to earn the same amount as a different child who has different desires and motivation. That is fine! (Of course, I’d love it if they all passed off every principle as fast as possible, but let’s be real. I’m not that consistent. But hey! Maybe one of them will surprise me?)

As I mentioned before, it has taken me more than 45 years to learn how to keep my own room clean, and I’m learning to keep my bathroom clean. So to expect my children to learn to keep their bathroom clean as a team in one year is a tall order. So my expectations aren’t going to be mastery. But I really have a lot of faith in my children and their abilities to do better than I did. It will be easier for me to be gentle and patient with them as they learn to keep their bathroom clean when I remember how long it has taken me to learn to do what I am asking.

Want to learn more?

If you want to learn more about what is an appropriate expectation for children at different ages, here is some good information about age characterisitics of children.

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