I shared with you about the responsibility charts that we use (and LOVE) with our kids. The icing on the top was that these charts dealt with attitudes AND actions which we think is a GREAT combination.
Why is that important? Because what you measure matters! So far we’ve found that the best reward possible is the positive affirmation that they get in being recognized for doing well in their attitudes and actions and lots and lots of love, affection, and celebration around growth. But most of that is pretty intangible and we all tend to do better when there’s something tangible we’re working towards, right? Cha-Ching!
- We didn’t want our kids to simply get a set “allowance” every week with no effort involved.
- We also didn’t want them to have to feel that they had to earn all of their money either.
- We wanted them to learn how to use money.
- We wanted them to know that they had worked hard to earn some of it too.
Ultimately we came up with a reward system that was a good mix of both worlds.
Each of our kids receives a set amount of money weekly based on their age AND a “bonus” amount for not losing too many smiley faces based on their attitudes & actions.
To be exact they each receive a quarter for every year old that they are. Which is also why having birthdays around here is a BIG deal! Not only do you get a special day but you also get ANOTHER quarter each week from thereafter. We have to remind ourselves that it is the little things that truly can cause such excitement in kids. In this case, getting an extra quarter every week sends them shooting to the moon!
On top of receiving your quarters “just for being part of our family” you also can earn a “bonus.” The bonus is the same for everybody… $1.50.
We picked seven smiley faces as the grace amount that a child can lose in one week in order to still get their bonus. If they lose more than seven smiley faces then they still get their quarters based on age but not their bonus. This way each child is always walking away with something…and something is better than nothing and helps keep the motivation going!
We keep all of our chart supplies in the basket on the fridge. The basket has everything that we need.
- extra magnets for the charts
- white board markers
- white board cleaner
- a bag to hold the quarters to be given out in the weeks to come
This really helps to have the quarters ahead of time so that they can be counted out for the kids to visually see at the end of the week. Otherwise, in our case if I run out, we just write the number of quarters that we owe each child on their white board until we re-stock the bag and pay them in full.
It may seem like giving kids money at early ages is pointless, a waste of money, or “not in the budget” but when you think about how important good money habits will be for the rest of their lives and add in the fact that it addresses the “Mom and Dad are my ATM” mentality = it’s been great! We NEVER have to buy our kids random things when we’re out or listen to them beg or whine for something they just saw because we can always say yes to their requests with “Yes, you can buy that with your spending money.” Usually the desire to have whatever has their attention at the
moment drops off pretty quickly after that. It’s funny how now they only ask if they can buy something at the store when they’re serious about using their money to buy it!
To summarize…don’t feel overwhelmed by this…it obviously isn’t the only way to reward kids for completing their responsibilities and working on attitudes and behaviors. It is simply a system that we felt worked for our family.
You have to figure out what works for yours!