In just a few months, my sweet firstborn will hit a milestone – turning 5. Dean and I have decided that “5” will be a big accomplishment in our house and with it will come rewards and expectations. Here’s what it means to hit the big F-I-V-E in our house:
1. A Special Trip: Before the craziness of “real” school starts and we get into tons of routines and change, Dean and I will take our 5-year-old on a special trip. Just him, mom and dad. It might be Disney, it might be a cool beach vacation, it might be learning to ski. But it will be a great time for us to give unconditional attention to our special guy and make it a trip he’ll remember for a long time. We’ll let him pick the schedule. He’ll basically run the show for a few days – it could mean ice cream for dinner and going down the waterslide for 4 hours straight – whatever he decides!
2. A Chore Chart: We ask for random help here are there with our kids, but there is nothing consistently required of them at their current ages (4 and 2). Once they hit 5, we’re going to have assigned tasks that our kids need to complete regularly. This might look like: making the bed, putting silverware away, wiping the table. It’s important that we teach their kids a sense of responsibility and nip any sense of entitlement early on. If they’re part of our family, they’re going to contribute.
3. Raking in the Dough: Seeing as they’ll be doing some consistent work for us, they’ll be rewarded for their work with a set allowance. No, we won’t be paying our kids in $10’s and $20’s but they’ll get a small amount of money that they can save up and use to spend on extras they want. It’s important to let them start understanding money management from a young age: you can only spend what you have!
4. Learning to Save and Tithe: Since they’ll be making some cash on a consistent basis, we’ll want to dig deeper into what it means to save and to tithe. At the present time, we randomly give Landon a $1 or a few quarters to throw in the tithe box at eKidz on the weekends. We’ve explained that we give this money to Jesus because he gives us so many things. Since he’ll be getting a regular allowance, we’ll want to be more consistent on his tithing and also talk about saving money. I love the 70-20-10 rule – 70% to spend, 20% to save and 10% to tithe as a starting point.
5. Team Building: To this point, our kids haven’t participated in team sports. The only extra curricular we’ve done is swim lessons (for safety purposes, I want my kids to be able to get to the wall and learn water safety as early as possible). Dean and I made a conscientious decision that we didn’t want to be driving all over the place and pushing lots of activities into our schedule when our kids were young. We decided that age 5 was going to be the magic number before we’d let them start in team sports.
Do your kids have a “milestone” age where they get to do special things? Maybe an international trip at 18 or the summer before college?
Growing up 13 was a special milestone age for my dad to celebrate with us.