We started doing Financial Peace University Junior with Cohen before Christmas. I felt like we weren’t doing a super great job teaching him responsibilities and how to earn money. It was getting to the point, every single time I took him to the store, he thought he deserved a toy or a candy. Um. No.
In order to reverse these bad habits we taught our son, we consulted Dave Ramsey’s plan for kids. We actually went through the course for adults when we first got married and I credit him for giving us the financial knowledge to save our money early in our marriage because God had some BIG plans for that money later (His name is Cohen, for those wondering).
Anyway, we started doing chores. And we had a chart. And it wasn’t working. It was a chart that was good for only one week, so if I forgot to pay (or just didn’t have cash to pay) Cohen, we would have to erase and start over, without actually rewarding him for his work. We needed another way to track his commission (not allowance…my child does NOT get money for simply existing! He MUST work for it, or he doesn’t get money).
I was also struggling with some discipline issues with Cohen (typical 5 year old stuff, you know…sassy mouth, insults, whining, disobedience, etc). I realized that time out was just not working anymore. I actually discussed this with a friend of mine, and she said she does a ticket system with her kids. They get a ticket for good behavior, and get tickets taken away for poor behavior. At the end of the week, the tickets are exchanged for money. GREAT IDEA!
So we decided to combine the two, tickets for chores and behavior. Here is my solution…
I took an old plastic jar, cut some large tickets with my cameo, and taped them to the side. There are 3 types of tickets: Green = Commission, Blue = Reward/Behavior, Red = Consequence/Loss of Privilege.
I cut up smaller tickets for him to put in the jar as he earns them.
Cohen gets one green ticket for each chore he does. These cannot be taken away once they are earned with a good attitude. If you do your chore with a poor attitude, you don’t get paid. Now I should mention we have different types of chores…family responsibilities (things you do because you are a member of the family) and commissionable chores (usually weekly/daily tasks that are assigned to him). Each green ticket equals $.50.
The blue tickets are for rewards, and they can be taken away. If I catch Cohen doing something good, such as holding the door for me, sharing his toys, using kind words, or just generally being a good kid, I tell him to go get a blue ticket. We also give blue tickets for memorizing scripture for Sunday School and earning awards at school or AWANA. Each blue ticket equals $.10.
He gets blue tickets taken away by whining, complaining, disobeying, getting a note from the teacher etc. This works MUCH better than time out for my kid, because he loves having his own money.
Now for the red tickets, they are for loss of a privilege. They usually get put in the bucket when there are no blue tickets to take away (for example, he just got paid, or he got all his blue tickets taken away). He can also get a red ticket for a big discipline issue (such as blatant disrespect or major disobedience). A red ticket means you have to miss out on any family fun (such as dessert, family game night, movie night, tv time, etc).
We’ve been doing this for a couple months and it is working GREAT!
The best part…he has his own money now. So when we go to the store and he says he needs a toy, I remind him that he has his own money, he could spend that if he wants.