16 February, 2009

Parenting Disaster Averted!

A couple of great days behind us, as parents and children, YEAH! In reading a blog by Pioneer Woman, I came across this idea for a family store. Not certain what post it was in, but the idea struck a cord with me.

Basically, the idea is to create a basket of goodies, could be small toys, stickers, coupons for TV time, chocolates etc, whatever the children really want and like. Then make a list of chores or duties for each child to accomplish in any given day. Create a monetary value for each chore/duty. At the end of the week, they tally up their "money" and are able to make a purchase at the family store, i.e. basket of goodies.

As I find blatant bribing wrong on many levels, if it works, I am for it. I am tired of struggling, growling and feeling helpless when it comes to cleaning up or getting motivated to do school work. This seems to provide visual incentive and serves as a budgeting lesson to boot. I am all for an activity which serves as a lesson.

The boys are super excited about their family store items and are begging me to set it up. Now the trick will be pricing out each item so I am not running out to the store every week, but provides some opportunity for each child to buy something.

We picked up Lego sets, stickers, mini Slinkies, trading cards, chocolates, journals, origami kits, new pencils etc. I am thinking one trading card is worth 1 dollar. The larger items will be worth 10 dollars. Each task is worth 25 cents. So in any given day, they can earn 1-3 dollars. At the end of the week, they could have 15 dollars to spend.

Again, we are starting out and will refine as we go, but the change in my boys behavior is amazing! I will save the lesson on intrinsic rewards for when they are a little older.

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