Sweet Rewards

>> Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thanks Elizabeth for letting me bother you with my BIG time nesting! I will have house pictures for you soon!

First, show off my great kids. And yes for those of you who can count, Elizabeth said I am almost done cooking my sixth baby and there are only four kids pictured. Number three baby, died of SIDS at two weeks old and so is not in this picture. Just so you won't think Elizabeth is doing any false advertising. :)

They clean the house for me. Okay, not really, but they do their part. Want to know the secret? Rewards.

I know I personally will move mountains for a little recognition. Apparentley it works for kids too. At our house we use what we call "the marble jars." They are just little mason jars with each kids initial on them (you could use whatever you had...this is what I had and it keeps it fair between the three big kids).

We review how they did each evening as part of the bedtime ritual and they decide how many marbles they should get that day. They can get one marble for each chore they do and one for good behavior at church on Sunday. They lose marbles for not doing a chore well or quickly (my oldest routinely loses his load the dishwasher marble for playing in the dirty water instead of loading the dishes. Eww!). They "self manage" and decide if they deserve a marble for any given chore. We rarely have to intervene, because they know when they haven't done a good job.

Here is a sample of yesterday's chores:

taking out the trash

The oldest, who is eight, loaded the dishwasher, took out the trash, put his own laundry away, watered the potted plants and picked up everything off the floor in the family room.

cleaning his room

Number two, who is six, emptied the dishwasher, put his laundry away, put the one year old's laundry away and folded all the towels for the kid's bathroom. He also started cleaning his room as an extra chore (to earn another marble) but gave up, so decided he didn't get one for that.

Playing in her half painted room because she already finished chores!

The three year old brought all the dirty laundry from the hampers to the laundry room, put her own laundry away, and fold the towels for Mommy and Daddy's bathroom.

When they fill their jar they get a date with Mommy or Daddy to go do something fun without the other kids. That is a BIG deal at our house.

This system works well for our family. Maybe it will work for yours! Check out the Works for Me Wednesday party at We Are THAT Family. Thanks for stopping by!


Elizabeth May 26, 2009 at 10:31 PM  

Thanks for posting this! I think your system is great, and I love the cute tags on your marble jars!

Nicole May 27, 2009 at 5:29 AM  

I think the system is great too, plus I love seeing your little ones work. I think in general people wait too long to let their kids have the responsibility of chores. Even now my little one can help unload the dishwasher, pick up her messes, and help make beds - not to mention her love of cleaning toilets --yuck!

Anonymous,  May 27, 2009 at 7:52 AM  

We JUST started something like this this week! Came recommended by a counselor my oldest goes to. Instead of marbles, though, we use "puffballs" (craft pom-poms). We'd tried other systems (charts, etc), but they weren't working, mostly because of all the record-keeping. Just today, my kids (ages 5 & 8) earned puffballs for folding towels, clearing their places, sweeping, vacuuming, picking up, and cleaning the bathroom.

It totally works for me!

Sarah May 27, 2009 at 9:35 AM  

Great post! We have "listening coins" at our house. I took 3 small gladware tubs and cut a slot in the top. I bought some poker chips for the coins. There's one tub full of coins. I let my two girls decorate their own tubs with stickers. When they get to 10 they get to pick out a new toy or treat. If you aren't cooperating or doing something when asked, you lose a coin. Works for chores, behavior, etc.

I have to say yours are much prettier! Great chore options for the kids. Mine are 6 & 4 and will be picking up more chores this summer -- you've given me some great ideas.

Erin @ Closing Time May 27, 2009 at 7:10 PM  

What a great tip! Thanks for sharing this idea.

Kristi May 27, 2009 at 7:31 PM  

I like that you reward with a date - my husband and I were just discussing implementing a reward system, but didn't want to reward with food.
Your kids are beautiful!

Michelle May 28, 2009 at 8:04 AM  

Now how much nagging to you have to do to get this done? Seriously, I feel like a broken record and my kids are OLDER than yours.

Caroline May 28, 2009 at 12:04 PM  

Kristi- Thanks! :)

Michelle- I do have to go from kid to kid giving gentle reminders for the hour it takes to get chores done, but I think it is better for me to "waste" an hour teaching them responsibility than doing it myself. :)

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