Charging Kids for Their Messes: Would You?

lego head
Photo by Sheri Reed
Mom Elizabeth Sheridan of Vienna, Virginia shares in the May 2010 issue of Real Simple magazine that she charges her kids money when they leave things lying around the house.


"Twenty-five cents for each item left by an elementary-school-age child; 50 cents for items left by the middle-schooler; 75 cents for items left by the high-schoolers," writes Elizabeth.

Then she gets herself a treat on her Friday coffee date with her friend if her kids have been really messy. Sounds awesome.

Some moms believe it's their job to clean up after their kids. I am not one of these moms, however, so this idea piques my interest. My oldest is pretty good and almost always picks up his toys and messes when asked. This could keep the mess from being left there in the first place though. And I could charge triple anytime I step on a tiny pain-inducing Lego piece.

More than anything, though, I can't wait for my messy 3-year-old to start earning some allowance so I can attach his wages.

What do you think about charging your kids for the messes they leave around the house?

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