My oldest asked me this question after hearing a movie parent reprimanding his childern. I looked at him and pondered how to answer this. Thankfully the movie started a scene of destruction that caught his attention. But as the childern sat watching the Baker's dozen destroy a birthday party I wondered what I would say when the question arose again.
Restless I got up and went to do a load of laundry. (Meaning I go gather the clothes off the floor and put them in the hamper, replacing the clean clothes that have been carelessly discarded in search of the ratty shirt they wear every chance they get.) And as I sighed and did the laundry dance I saw the poster ripped off the boys' wall yet again. I glanced around the room and saw the small damages they've inflicted on their room. Nothing major or unboy like. A hole from shoving the door open to hard, scratches from rocking their chair to fast and bumping the wall. You know a boys room. And it came to me. (Lightbulb flickering slightly then shining bright.)
After the movie was finished, laundry started, and the dishes done I sat the three oldest down for "a talk". I asked if any had an idea how much a bucket of paint cost. The responses were varied. We ended up with two dollars, a nickle, and a hundred dollars , they then talked amongst themselves and agreed on a hundred. When asked if they had a hundred dollars I was presented with a monoply junior dollar bill.
So we made an agreement. When they have a hundred dollars to buy paint for their rooms, they get an allowance. I'm still not to worried, they bargained hard-but I finally gave in. They'll each make a dollar a week when that day comes. I just hope they don't break us.
Now here's a question-when do I tell them paints only like twenty bucks?