Funny Fridays: Taking 6 Kids to an Art Museum & Other Stories

At the Smithsonian National Museum of Art

When we went to D.C. this summer, I insisted we go and visit my favorite painting in the world, which happens to be at the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall. While we were there, we perused the collections, along with our friend Amy and her children.

I thought the day was going amazingly well. We took 6 kids through a museum where you are supposed to be quiet, and I felt like we did a heroic job. The kids even sat on these nice sofas they had in many of the galleries.

After about an hour, Alan whispered emphatically, with the big eyes,  “Are you ready to go now? Please.”

“Sure…. C’mon kids, let’s go.”

Once outside, Alan looked like he’d just escaped prison.

Alan had a much different experience in the Smithsonian than I had.

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Why I’m Such a Crystal Paine Fan Girl

******Disclosure: This post does contain affiliate links. When you purchase through these links, I will be paid advertising fees. All opinions are my own.*******

When I started my blog, in 2008, I was only in it to provide news of our family to my husband while he was in Iraq for 15 months straight. Blogs provide the perfect spot for photos, stories, and videos, without bombarding your Facebook friends with such a vast amount of footage!

It wasn’t until 2013 that I decided to set the blog to public and go for it.  I was already spending about 7 hours/week on my blog, might as well make a little money off of it, right?

The thing about blogging is that it’s one of those jobs that did not exist yet when I was in high school, or even in college. You couldn’t major in blogging.

Once you begin to blog for profit, you need skills, or people who have skills, in the realm of writing, computers, marketing, and design. That’s an elephant-size amount of skills to learn! And I still have a long way to go!

Learning the ins and outs of blogging, without spending much money at all, has led me to a few inspiring bloggers.

The one who I have learned the ABSOLUTE MOST from is Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom and YourBloggingMentor.com. That’s the perfect name for that website because she is literally my blogging mentor.

Allow me to introduce you to my favorite blogging celebrity: Crystal Paine

My Fan-Girl Confession…

Now, first of all, I have to admit to you that I have never actually met Crystal Paine. I’ve seen about 15 or 30 of her videos (YouTube & Facebook), so I feel like I know her…..the celebrity effect….but in reality she only knows me as yet another obscure little blogger who emails her a lot….

Yes, I admit it. I have emailed her about 20 times over the past few years. Yeah. In fact, I’ve emailed her so much that recently I am getting replies from her people rather than from Crystal herself…

I know. You may be shaking your head at me right now and thinking this sounds awfully stalker-like. I promise I’m not a stalker.  I prefer the term “fan-girl”.

Hello, my name is April, and I am a Crystal Paine fan girl.

I subscribe to two or three of her newsletters, I’ve taken about 4 different online courses that she’s taught, I follow her on ALL of her social medias, AND I’ve read several of her books.

One time, I even got to be on her website. You can see that here: Making Over Your Morning as a Night Owl.

WHY I’m such a Crystal Paine fan girl

You see, in a world where no one teaches you how to be a blogger in school, you have to go hunting down that information for yourself. Crystal has proven to be an excellent resource this past year, as I have attempted to take my blog to the next level.

I love how her blogging products offer practical, actionable advice.

But even before I sought to learn from Crystal as a blogger, I was already an occasional reader of her website, Money Saving Mom. I enjoyed her videos because she pours her personality and work into them.

The biggest reason I am such a fan is that she seems to possess all of the exact skills that I struggle to acquire, and she teaches her strategies in a fun, easily accessible way that I can truly relate to.

Plus, we have so much in common! She’s a writer, a mom of kids similar in age to my own, a Christian, and she strives to live a healthy lifestyle.

My Favorite Crystal Paine Books and Classes

She has so many more than just these. These few are the ones I benefitted the most from because of who I am as a person and where I was in life at the time. I’m also super-stoked to read Say Good-bye to Survival Mode and listen to her FREE WEBINAR about that!

By the way, huge deal alert: Say Good-bye to Survival Mode is only 99 CENTS for Kindle for a limited time!!!

 

Crystal wrote a book about living a disciplined life! I scooped that up in a heartbeat!! Having a plan and a schedule is this huge struggle for me. It’s something I have to work hard at and learn from people like Crystal.

My default is to wake up, tell everyone to leave me alone while I drink my coffee, get the boys ready for school, then tackle my day with little to no plan at all.

Yes, I know. A failure to plan is a plan to fail…yada yada yada. We are trying, okay. There are four growing boys here. It is a j-o-b!

I cannot explain to you how hard I struggle to keep all the balls I juggle up in the air!!

All the kids….the house cleaning….the cooking…MOPS leadership….volunteering at school…teaching Sunday school…..and oh yeah!! The blog!!!

Can I get an amen here? Are there any of you who are just in this ultra-busy phase of life? Sometimes I just want to shut it all down and say, “Nope. From now on, I enforce rules and cook dinner. That’s it.”

That’s why I love Crystal’s books. She is juggling so many of the same things I am, but she brings time-management and discipline skills to the table that I KNOW I can learn from.

Alan is a fan too!

 
When Alan and I got serious about getting out of debt (car payments) back in 2009, we bought the book, The Money Saving Mom’s Budget. I found it quite helpful, and not only that. It was actually realistic!

But my favorite Crystal Paine moment was this….

Our Family’s Major Life-Changing Routine Inspired by Crystal!!!

Do you remember when Alan took over the laundry at our house? That was because of a YouTube video of Crystal’s that I watched where she talked about the strategic ways she and her husband divide up the work of managing their household.

I know. You want the YouTube link so you can show it to your husband too, but I have no idea which video it was!! I’m so sorry! It might have actually been part of her blogging class a while back that is no longer for sale…

I told Alan about it, in a very light, kind way, and I asked him what thing he’d like to make his responsibility. In a perfect world, we’d have a maid and maybe not have this problem, but in reality we can’t afford one right now.

I said something like, “Hey, honey. You know how sometimes I’m bad about not planning through everything? It occurred to me that I’ve never actually asked you what you would like your chore to be at the house. You do a lot, but nothing is like divided up and assigned to you except trash and the lawn. We need to have very specific jobs assigned to all 6 of us in the family to make this work.”

At first, Alan was very deer-in-the-headlights. He apologized, and we agreed that ALL the jobs can’t be mine alone now that there are four children. It’s not possible.

My husband’s decision

Alan thought about it long and hard, and he chose laundry, which was perfect because my doctor had just told me a few weeks ago that I did not need to be carrying baskets of laundry due to my low back and hip arthritis.

Spending less time on laundry was life-changing for me!! Plus, Alan usually does a better job of keeping up with it than I ever did.

Thank you so much for that, Crystal and Alan!!!

My Work Mentor

I enrolled in a one-time blogging course she did last fall where I learned the importance of doing Facebook Lives, which turned out to be an amazing way to grow my Facebook following.

Then this year Crystal opened up a whole new website for bloggers. If you blog, you have to check it out: YourBloggingMentor.com

When Crystal launched the “5 Days to a Successful Blog Launch” course a couple of months ago, I decided to read it. I didn’t think I needed it since my blog was obviously “launched” a long time ago, but eh, why not?

Oh, y’all!! I could write an ENTIRE POST on all the things I learned from this simple little 5 day course.

Spoiler alert: Some of the 5 days have way more practical ideas than you can implement in only a day. I have this huge list that I made from Day 5’s assignments that is going to take me all of September to get through.

So don’t let this fool you. It is not just for blog babies.

If you need to improve your blog traffic, take this course whether you already have a blog or are just starting one.

Link to Blogging University: Blogging University

 

Ya’ll!! I can’t tell you how much I have learned!! But this article has run long, so I’m going to save all of that information. Look for a future post in September, dedicated solely to how much I’ve changed my blog since taking this simple, inexpensive 5 Day Blog Launch Course!!

More good news!

I noticed that she is currently running a special FREE webinar for beginning bloggers, and I could not recommend that highly enough. Here’s the link if you’d like to try it out.

Now I’m just holding my breath and waiting for the intermediate course. You know she will probably do one before the year’s over!

So what about you? Are you a member of my Unofficial Crystal Paine Fan Club?? Do you read MoneySavingMom.com?? Which of her books would you like to read? Leave a comment below to let me know I’m not alone in my fan-girl-ness!

 

 


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Why Is It a Good Idea to Pay Your Kids for Chores?


Lately, I’ve started a system where each of our boys has a couple of new chores he must do each day. Yes, even the 4-year-old. I instituted this because I actually cannot keep up with the housekeeping all myself anyway.

I pay them a quarter for each of those jobs, plus I give them extra coins when they exhibit a wonderful attitude.

I’m able to pay them on the spot because I have a big juice jug full of change.

This has been working extremely well for us. Though yes, I always inspect their work, and make them fix things they’ve skipped over, like little Lego men peeking out from under the sofa.

 

Killing bugs for mom also counts as a chore. The 3 of them teamed up to kill the cicada under that stack of books! That particular job was free of charge. Ha!

 

Today I have asked Josh Wilson, of FaithFamilyFinance.com, to fill us in on why paying children for chores is a MARVELOUS idea, not just for us, but for our kids too….

 

Why Is It a Good Idea to Pay Your Kids for Chores?

One financial decision you will need to make with your children is if you should pay your children to do chores. There are several different reasons why this is a good idea. For starters, they can learn valuable life lessons. If you are on the fence about paying your children for chores, read more to find out why it can be a good idea.

Adults Work for Money

Adults work to earn money because they have bills to pay. Paying children for chores teaches them the value of work. They can learn about the incentive of working harder to earn more money. Just as you don’t get paid if you don’t work, you have the option not to pay your child if they don’t complete their chores on schedule.

Until your children are old enough to get a part-time job, paying your children for chores can be a good way to allow your children to work for a goal instead of simply being given everything they want.

It's a great way to teach your kids to work for a goal rather than being given everything! via @AprilandAlan storiesofourboys.com #responsibiityClick To Tweet

Chores Teach Commitment

Chores can consist of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Even if you decide not to pay your child for some everyday chores, money is a strong incentive to remain committed for additional chores. Your children can establish a work ethic early on.

Offering to pay your child for optional tasks that you don’t necessarily have to do is a good starting place. By not paying your child for every single chore they complete, you can reward them for their efforts while avoiding the entitlement spirit of thinking they “must” get paid for every chore or they won’t do it.

Chores Can Instill Entrepreneurship

Depending on your child’s personality, paying for chores can instill a level of entrepreneurship. By realizing they can make money by providing a solution to a need, completing chores in this case, they may decide to pursue their own side hustle as they grow older.

For example, if you pay them to mow the lawn, they might ask your neighbors to mow their lawns for cash. During the winter, they might offer to shovel driveways and sidewalks for extra cash. If you only pay them an allowance for not doing chores, they might miss out on these additional money-making opportunities.

Paying for Chores Establishes Expectations

As the parent, you can set the expectations for when your children will be paid for their chores. If your children don’t do it right the first time, have them redo the task to your satisfaction. Chores can be an excellent opportunity to learn attention to detail and working efficiently to maximize their earning potential.

Remember to consider your child’s age and experience when setting expectations. Just as there is a learning curve when you start a new job, your children will need to master new skills as well. As they mature, you can increase your expectations and maybe even give them a raise as well.

Chores Can Encourage Communication

Communication is a two-way street in every relationship. Paying for chores can teach your children communication skills that can benefit them in the professional world. On payday, you can review your child’s performance and encourage them or tell them how they can improve.

Your child can also improve their communication skills because they will learn how to accept feedback, good and bad, from their superiors. Chores can also teach negotiation. Your child might offer to perform additional tasks if they are trying to increase their income.

Children Can Learn Money Management Skills

Earning money allows children the opportunity to learn the value of saving money for future purchases and accomplishing other financial goals. If you offer them additional money for completing extra tasks, your children can have an additional incentive to work hard to achieve their goals sooner.

In addition to paying your children for chores, you can also teach them budgeting and banking. Instead of just giving them money and letting them go on a spending spree, you can have them divide their paycheck into saving, spending, and giving.

For example, you can help your kids open up a savings account and they can watch as their interest grows. Each month opens the doors for a new learning experience, and even earnings for your children. You should likely use an online account with low minimums and fees to help you children keep more of their money. My children use Capital One which has an account created just for them. This will prepare them for adulthood when a portion of each paycheck goes to taxes and living expenses.

Summary

Paying children for chores is one of the most debated topics about parenting. While no parent is required to pay for chores, doing so can teach your child valuable life lessons. If you decide to pay your child, remember that you don’t have to pay them for every single chore, and you can also base the payment on their performance.

 

 

Josh Wilson is the owner of a start-up personal finance blog, Family Faith Finance. Check out his blog and learn more about his journey through life.

 

 

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