My, 8 year old, son cleans his room, does the dishes, and can scramble two eggs. After a few crunchy eggshell eggs, he now can make delicious eggs he can brag about. He has even offered to make mommy's eggs. The mom, that doesn't want to choke, in me wants to say “no thank you” but the supportive mom in me chews with caution.

Some mornings, he makes his own breakfast while I iron his clothes, wipe down his karate gear, write notes to his teachers, clean, and check his homework.

As hard working moms, myself included, we often work harder than we have to. For 2018 not only should we slow down but we should also parent smart not hard.

Top 3 Best Tips for Parenting Smart NOT Hard in 2018

  1. Give Your Child Chores You Can Be a Cheerleader To

Make a BIG deal of their hard work and cheer like you have just won a year's worth of free cleaning services. Little do they know, you did! Imagine a whole year of your child cleaning their own room and doing the dishes after dinner.

And it goes a little something like this- “baby look what great job you are doing” - “you are a lifesaver, cleaning the dishes for mommy”- “look at those strong arms scrub that plate”- “the dishes are so clean I might have you teach your younger sister” NOW this is smart parenting, way to go mom, with that last one, you just turned one helper into two!

My favorite- “you did such a great job doing the dishes and cleaning your room, I might have to start paying you”! Can you have your people call my people, so we can set up a fair allowance for your hard work?

2. Give Your Child an Allowance for A Job Well Done

Really sit down and discuss with them how much they want to get paid a week between $5 and $10. Once you both agree on an amount, next discuss how often they want to get paid: once a month for a nice lump some, or every two weeks like most working professionals. This gives them the feeling that they really have a say so in helping you around the house and increases their enthusiasm in getting their chores done.

Remember, you want to keep encouraging them to help around the house but also come up with an amount and a schedule that is manageable with your income. A small price to pay so that you can cross one more thing off of your never ending to do list.

3. Let Your Child Spend Their Allowance and Call It Budgeting

Now this one is a really good one! And here's why:

  • Teaching your child to save ALL of their money does not prepare them for the future.

  • They will learn a good budget includes a savings (how much to spend/save).

  • They will ask for less items in the store if they know they have to pay for it. SMART!

Our kids are never hungry until they get outside, and they want everything in the store because they do not have to pay for it. However, if you do not allow them to leave their money at home, and have them pay for the things they want in the store, they will ask for less because they do not want to spend ALL of their money. They want to spend all of yours! Our kids are smart, but we are smarter. Tell your kids the reason you are having them pay for their own items is because they have to learn how to budget their own money. It is important that they learn to plan what they will spend, and plan how much they will save.

This smart move will help you keep a little more money in your pocket while out with your kiddos, and you can stop saying NO 100x in the store. And it isn't HARD!

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