Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Our new allowance system

As much as I love my family, it is not easy managing a household of six (especially when you come from a household of three - with a 8 year age gap between the two children).  With working, schooling, feeding, crafting, chauffeuring, and all of the other stuff that goes into the course of my day, it is sometimes difficult to make sure that everyone's chores are being done, that attitudes are positive and that instructions are being followed (the very first time).  So we have implemented a little system.  For years I have tried to teach the girls that we take care of our responsibilities because they need to be done, not for rewards.  So we have never given them an allowance before.  Honestly, that was a huge pain in the butt!!  I'm sure they get it, but with my schedule being so busy I have resorted to bribery. Well, not bribery...a reward system.  We have implemented ALLOWANCES!!!  The kids are ecstatic.  

We have all of their chores written on big craft sticks.  The older kids have a set and younger kids have a set.  Each Sunday they pick chores at random and store them in their chore containers (I started color coding certain things for them a couple of years ago and it kind of stuck - Jena is green, Ashni is yellow, Bijou is blue and Zion is red).  These are their chores for the week.

We also have other clearly defined ways to earn happy faces or red strikes on our behavior chart.  (There are things on the strike list like, screaming, whining, not following instructions with first time, being uncooperative, not finishing chores.  The opposite of these behaviors earn happy faces.)  This is our behavior chart.  It's just one of those cork board squares that I added the girls pictures to.  We have a three strike policy in our house.  The first red strike (which is just a thumb tack colored with red sharpie) is a warning, with the second red strike you lose your chance for a happy face for the day and with the third you are doomed to go to bed a half an hour early. (Notice that Zion has three strikes in this picture.  She got the tird strike late, so she will NOT be happy at bedtime tomorrow).  If you have no (or just one) red strikes then you earn a happy face for the day (which is a thumb tack with a happy face drawn on it).  At the end of the week, we all sit down and count up the happy faces for the week.  For each happy face the little girls get, they earn $.25.  For each happy face the older girls get, they earn $.50.  

This is our tax jar.  Yes, I said tax jar.  Some days I feel like my kids eat all of our school supplies.  Pencils disappear while in use, crayons are immediately broken into the tiny nubs, markers tops are, I don't know, buried in the backyard.  SO, in order to (hopefully) get the girls to understand that their things cost money, we deduct taxes from their allowance.  Ten percent of each girls' allowance in deposited into the tax jar.  This jar will hold money that will be used to purchase school supplies when needed.  Hopefully, this works out.  I'll keep you updated.

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