Now that the kids are back from their kick-off-the-summer mini vacation, I wanted to try a new idea to reinforce their behavior and contributions to the household. In the June/July edition of Family Fun magazine, there is a Creative Solutions article by Malissa O’Brian. Her idea is to assign value to each chore or behavior, and kids can earn a gem or marble for their specially decorated jar.
I love it. Brilliant.
I like that it gives the kids more control over what they do. I like the healthy competition (“I want to do the 3 gem chore before Gracie does it today.”) . I love that they will learn that laziness does not pay (I suspect that lesson will be learned when sibs are off enjoying rewards without them).
So, I re-lined the white board in the hallway and put up the list of chores that the kids need to do and can choose to help with. Each chore has a value of 1 to 3 gems. Tomorrow, we are planning a trip to Michael’s to pick up some jars to decorate and gems to fill them with. I discussed the concept with the kids tonight, and explained all the ways that they can earn…or lose…their gems.
In order to earn gems, they need to complete chores from their list. They can also earn bonuses for “being caught being good”. Losing gems can occur when they choose to behave poorly. They were also told that stealing from others’ jars is completely unacceptable, and the thief would lose all their gems, to be divided between their sibs’ jars.
Once their jar is filled, they get to choose a reward from this list that I posted on their cork board:
What can you earn when you fill your Gem Jar?
Pick any ONE reward below!
(time and date of reward to be determined by Mom & Dad)
Taking a trip to the park
Spending the night with friends
Spending the night with grandparents
Going to a ball game, play, or concert
Playing mini golf with Mom or Dad
Eating out with Mom or Dad
Painting ceramics with Mom or Dad
Baking something in the kitchen with Mom
Planning a day’s activities for the family
Riding bikes with Mom or Dad
Going camping in the backyard with Dad
Going fishing with Dad
Staying up 30 minutes past bedtime
Going to the movies with Mom or Dad
Choosing the menu for a family meal
Going for a picnic with Mom or Dad
Going skating, swimming, or bowling with Mom or Dad
Ordering pizza…you choose the toppings
Going for a hike or letterboxing with Mom or Dad
Going canoeing with Mom or Dad
Choosing a special family breakfast
Playing a game with mom or dad
Getting an extra 30/60 minutes of computer time
Playing or renting a video game
Watching or renting a movie
Earning $10 to spend anywhere you want
Receiving a magazine subscription
Going out for ice cream with Mom or Dad
Going to the zoo with Mom or Dad
Receiving 5 scratch-off lottery tickets…you keep the winnings
Choosing a special dessert for the family
You are a gem! You can do it!
They are really excited about it! The questions were flying! What if we fill our jars at the same time? What if we choose the same reward? What if…? It was great to get them engaged in the idea. They starting choosing chores right away, and I marked their temporary gems on the whiteboard so I know how many to put in each jar tomorrow.
Here’s hoping this one “builds character”!
To be continued…