Monday, May 10, 2010


1. New and improved(for our family) bean jars
We're doing bean jars again, but I'm changing things up a little. Before when we did the beans jars, each child had their own jar and every time they did something good, they'd put a bean inside, and whenever they didn't listen or did something naughty, they'd have to take one out. Once the jar was full of beans, we'd let them pick out something from the dollar store or something like that.

This time I'm trying something different for the sake of Charlie. He does really well with positive reinforcement. So putting beans in a jar for good behavior is great, but taking them out for bad behavior didn't work so well. So I've decided to change things a little. Now we have one "Smith Family Kids" bean jar instead of individual jars and we only put beans in the jar. We don't take them out. When they listen the first time we ask them to do something, or if they do something kind or thoughtful or helpful etc., they get to put a bean in the jar. Once the jar is full, the kids get to pick a fun family activity for us to do: bike ride, hiking, family movie night with popcorn, game night, camp in the backyard etc. We've just started it this week, but so far it's going really well. Like I said, the main reason for doing this is for Charlie(or actually it's for helping me to help Charlie), and he's doing really good. He's listening now the first time I ask him to do something so that he can put a bean in his jar(probably 70% of the time now, which is about how often he remembers we're keeping a bean jar), which was one of our biggest challenges in the past. I'm hoping that all this training will stick and some day in the future all of our children will be great listeners from all their practice.

2. Money chore jars
The two oldest kids are at an age where they are wanting and asking for everything they see in stores. For the past year or two, I've always told them, 'maybe for your birthday or Christmas'. Charlie's birthday is within a couple of weeks of Christmas which makes waiting for that time of year really hard sometimes. And Elisabeth is really good at bargaining and making compromises. So we decided to try something new. They're old enough that they can do some daily chores, which they do and have been doing for some time now. Things like, make your bed, clean up the toys in your room, pick up your clothes and put them away, clear the table after meals. Now I've added a money making element. If they're on top of their normal daily chores, then they have the chance to do some money making chores. These are the money making chores for now: take out the trash, unload the dishwasher (both of those are worth a dime each), pull weeds for 5 cents a piece(when they get older and can pick more I'll probably lower that amount to a penny a weed), spot clean the walls (price depends on how much they do but probably between a dime and a quarter), tidy the bathroom (dime), and get Annabelle to pee or poop in the potty is 50 cents each time. Once they're older and have practiced doing some more challenging chores with mom and dad like laundry and cleaning the toilet etc, then I'll make those the money chores and these easier ones will be added onto their daily chores. But for now, those more challenging chores need to be done with adult supervision and so I don't feel like they deserve money for them at this point. I want them to learn at a young age, the value of money, how to save, pay tithing, be frugal, etc. and I can't think of a better way then actually giving them a little to work with. This is a very new thing for us so I'm sure I'll make adjustments in the future, and I'd be glad to hear any advice/tips that you might have and what's worked for you or for a friend of yours, type of thing.


Angela said...

Great ideas, Elisa! We had the same issue when our kids were young. They would get most of what they asked for at Christmas and Birthdays, but this got expensive plus set them up for disappointment. They really learn the value of money when they have to work for it, then make decisions about what to do with it. You WILL see the rewards of all of your hard work. Perhaps not for a few years, but it will happen. They are aleady wonderful kids...they will be wonderfuler:)

Rachel said...

Such a good idea! I'm going to do the same thing. Hannah could really use the help and I think she would also respond well to positive reinforcement!! Not to mention it will help me also!

Lindsay said...

So, you've inspired me to start up on that again. My kids need some more positive reinforcement these days...must be having a new baby :) And I love the idea of having a family jar. That would eliminate the competition between my boys of who has more in their jar!