Thursday, May 2, 2013
Earning Loot and Paying Fines
As the boys have grown, so has their ability to destroy the order and organization I have so desperately tried to keep. Lately, I have fallen prey to the old “I will do all the chores myself because it’s easier and faster” adage, all while my boys are making forts out of my clean laundry pile and tossing Legos here, there, and everywhere. As the school year is winding down (more time at home = more cleaning for me), I needed to have a better system for giving them age appropirate chores and having them done the right way, the first time, and with very little nagging from me. I needed to create some kind of reward system, but I have a serious aversion to sticker charts. I find that I’m not very good at keeping up with it for more than a week. And, no offense, I find that they aren’t the most stylish wall decor. Yes, I want my boys to be rewarded for following through with chores . . . I just really don’t want to do it with “Bob the Builder” stickers on my wall (sorry, Bob). So I came up with this little plan . . .
. . . a month ago I ordered these aqua colored mason jars on Amazon (the color is gorgeous and looks amazing in the sunlight). And I went to the craft store and bought a bunch of small wooden pieces that we call “tokens.” Tokens are payment for jobs, like helping to set the table, making your bed in the morning before coming downstairs, and being ready to go school on time (which always seems to our downfall). They each have their own mason jar with their name on it where they can keep their tokens. After earning 20 tokens, that boy can choose a special treat, like popcorn and a movie of their choice, a trip for frozen yogurt, or choosing the dinner menu (which will probably be waffles for dinner . . . which means I win too). So far, they’ve been working harder to keep up after their toys and have been proud of their work and all of the tokens they’ve earned.
But here is the beauty of it . . . they must pay me a token when there is a bad attitude, name calling, arguing with one another, and not following through with what they were asked to do. They don’t like that part, but it gives them a way to think about their actions and decide if calling their brother “stupid” is worth a hard earned token. And, to keep them honest, anyone caught stealing tokens from someone else’s jar will lose all of theirs. And, I think they look much prettier than cardstock and stickers on the wall:)
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