Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Money Grab

One of my very favorite things about meeting with people through The Power of Moms are the fabulous ideas I get. So many of the systems we have in place in our home come from an original idea I heard from someone that I've tweaked to work for us.

This one is no different.
But let me give a background to why I've chosen to implement it in our own unique way.

A couple of months ago we chose a new system for every day chores and assignments. We've found for us that switching things around every few months work the very best. Even though we may have gone through several systems over the years, we figure as long as we have something in place we're doing okay.

Each child has a small piece of paper--that has a short checklist they need to mark off every day. (Each child's is different.) It has to be checked and turned in before any playing or free time after school. When we first implemented it, we told them that after a certain number were gathered, we would reward the family as a whole.

Which we did in November. But you see, it took a little longer than the month we estimated it to take to get the number of "tickets" required to be turned in. Some children didn't do their stuff as faithfully as another, yet all of the children participated in the family activity... It didn't seem quite as fair as it should be.

Introduction of an idea I heard at our recent Power of Moms workshop:
One family has a jar full of coins that kids were able to reach in and grab a handful of for their weekly allowance.


Mike and I have never been big "allowance payers" and we aren't a big fan of paying our children for every day stuff or for Saturday's Cleaning Hour. Typically our children can earn money for "above and beyond jobs" they ask for, or we assign.

But we've been looking for something to motivate our children to want to turn in their papers, and to work a little more quickly and willingly.

So after a trip to the bank for lots of coins (my job), and some creativity and calculations (Mike's job), we recently introduced to our children our very first "Money Grab."

Except it was more of a money throw as Mike set the stage by throwing money across the family room carpet.

Mike calculated the seconds each child would get based on their age and how many papers they had turned in for the previous week. As cheap Mike looked down on the floor and saw too many quarters scattered, he decided at the last minute to throw in one last negotiation. Each child could "buy" a couple more seconds if while they grabbed for the coins, they were blindfolded.

Of course, that turned it into a game and they all wanted blindfolds.

Megan ended up with the least amount of money. And even though she earns a pretty cushy wage each month teaching her four piano students (six if you count Ellie and Luke), she will probably opt not to be blindfolded next week.

It turned out to be a very minimal "allowance" they each earned. But their confidence in grabbing more money next week, is certainly helping them stay on task with their chores and assignments this week! It's all about setting up systems to help the children want to work hard and obey. We'll see how long this one lasts.


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