Friday, January 13, 2012

The Chore Jar

The idea of an allowance is not something I'm completely knowledgeable about since my brother and I never received one. That's not to say we never got anything or never did any chores, just that we didn't have a set amount of money given to us every week. It wasn't something that bothered me, at least that I can remember. Tim and I have bounced ideas around about what we want to do with Brenden and Lauren and recently, after a trip to the store when Brenden asked us for money to buy something, we decided on a Chore Jar. It was inspired by something I read awhile ago on my friend Heather's blog where she rewarded her daughter for good behavior as well as chores, not on a weekly basis, but on a day to day basis.

Our new backyard isn't huge and our two little dogs can make a lot of messes in a small amount of time. Tim wanted to clean it up and offered Brenden the chance to earn $1.00 if he helped. Brenden was beyond excited. In the middle of scooping up dog poo, he squealed, "I'm gonna get LOTS of dollars!" When we reminded him that it was only one dollar this time his face fell, his arms dropped, and he told us he was done. Poor, spoiled rotten kid. :) With a little encouragement he finished the job and was extremely happy to deposit his first dollar bill.

He's rich!

He hasn't completed any chores since then (*light bulb!* Guess who will be helping me clean tomorrow!) but he's still earning quarters every day when I notice that he's doing something without being reminded (throwing away trash, picking up dirty clothes, taking a nap without a fight, etc.) or being especially kind (including Lauren when he plays or making her laugh when she's upset). I try not to bribe him with it, although I've definitely resorted to that when it comes to getting him dressed. Instead, I try to catch him doing different things on his own and then using that quarter as a pat on the back for just being his awesome self.

I'm not sure how long we will keep this up or if he'll even care about it next week. For now, the joy on his face when he realizes that he did something well is absolutely worth every cent.

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