Everyone does her own chore chart and has her own philosophy on whether or not children should get paid for helping out around the house. I've come up with something that works for us. My kids get allowance to spend on the things that they want. That money is a "given" and does not change. Out of that money, they tithe, save, and get what's left. If they want to earn more money, they can "work." Each item is assigned certain points, and for each point they earn, they get a play dollar to put in their pockets. One item on their list is "End Argument." My kids fight all the time. Neither of them wants to end it. So it almost always escalates to someone getting hit. So if one of them decides to be the bigger person and compromise or walk away, they will earn a point. As they work on other issues, I will adjust their chart. They also know that if I have to tell them to do it, they don't get a point, unless they do it after being asked the first time, because they also get a point for obeying the first time I ask (another current issue).
Once they have gotten 10 one dollar bills, they trade it in for one 10 dollar bill (Math!) Once they have reached ten $10 bills, they can trade the play money in for real money that they can spend, but only get 50% in real money (More math!). So if they have $100 in play money, they get $50 in real money. I hope that this teaches them the benefits of saving money! This is perfect timing with Christmas fast approaching.
I forgot to mention, there are things that cause them to lose these dollars. For instance, say a curse word- lose a dollar. (Yes, unfortunately, another issue.) If someone hits someone else, they lose a dollar. This has already been effective, since it just occurred to me that I haven't heard a curse word in a while.
Hopefully this will give you an idea of a way to keep checks and balances in your house. While I'd love to be the mom with perfect children who would do everything correctly and smile while doing it, I'm settling for being the mom of kids who need incentive before they learn how good it feels to do right, be right, and live right. I'm still working on that myself...
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