We don't give allowance in our house. Our feeling is that we're a family and the family works together as a team to keep the house running. Chores are a responsibility and not a choice and should not be paid for. For us, if they're being paid for a chore it becomes a choice, "Do I care about getting paid for this or not today?" Although we don't give them an allowance they do get money or a toy or game now and then if they've been behaving well. On some Fridays we'll send our 15 year old to the bowling alley with some money for games, shoes and eating, and he hangs with his friends. If his grades are below an 82 or not behaving well we won't offer or allow those extras. (grades under 82 keeps him grounded to the house)
We did try the chore thing 15 years ago with our oldest son and then later with our now 15 year old son and it just didn't work out for them. It worked out better knowing that us working together to keep the house running... responsibility.
If we were to give an allowance, this is what we would probably do, to answer your questions:
1. We would not pay per chore as this gives them a choice to say that they've made some money already and I don't feel like doing the rest. It should be a flat amount per week or pay period when the parents get paid. Dad works and has to wait for pay, so do the kids.
2. Chores would not be missed in my house as the parents should check to see that they're done and done correctly. But if they're not done they will be given the choice to do them or not given their allowance at all. Are they willing to forfeit it all for one small chore? After all, it's not like you're asking them to shingle the roof or pain the house.
3. Children have short attention spans so a chart or calendar works well. I use that for my 15 year old. I bought a desk calendar and put it on the wall for him for chores, days off of school, activities, etc. It has large squares to write in. For the younger kids you can mark it with a check or gold star or something daily after you check their work. Kids will make lots of excuses when it comes to chores. "I thought you said to just clean the bathroom sink, not the toilet too!" If it's written down then it lessons the chance of arguments later.
4. Everything you listed are things that are normal for members of a family to help out with. As soon as a child is old enough to reach the buttons and can use a washer/dryer then they can do their own laundry. My oldest was 8 when he started washing/drying/folding/putting away his laundry. My next was 10 years old as he was shorter, lol. I work with them though and let them load the washer, go out for an hour, put it in the dryer, play for an hour, come in and fold and put away and go back to playing. They hung their own shirts too. My triplets are only six but they collect their own hangers and hang them and I put them in the closet for them as I like them sorted a certain way. So I can't tell you what is allowance worthy. I would suggest whatever is on their list for chores (everything that is expected of them) should be paid for if you choose to do allowance.
I would not pay them much for chores as it's not a job where they can collect a lot of cash and they think, "Why bother doing chores when I've got enough money in my pocket right now." It's basically a token reward that gives them pocket change to buy a candy bar or drink at the end of the week, or even a trip to BK.
Remember, not matter what you do the idea is to teach them that a family is a team and it takes every member of the household to keep the house running smoothly. If they balk at not enough allowance or whatever just tell them that those are the assigned chores. They can get a small reward or do it for free. It's their choice.
mom to 5 including triplets
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