Friday, September 5, 2008


Well, a parenting message board I'm on got on the subject of chores. They linked to PW's Chore system. 
I took note.
 While I did not want to adopt the whole system, I was sold on the chore store.
I once had the belief that my kids would want to help me out and keep the house in order because we are family.
Nice notion.
 I will give them credit. We do clean together and they do their part pretty nicely. I however, have a ton of stuff that I need to do. I know they are very capable to do some helpful tasks solo.
 They just needed some fun motivation.
So I was using the peg system from family tools.
It's a neat system. They look at the board, do the task, flip the chip.
 They have a whole behavior system but I never got into it. 
So, I took some old bingo chips we had, and marked some of them as 1 point, some are bonus chips worth an extra 1/2 point, and some are penalty chips which is -1/2 pt.
So the deal is that you do your chores for the day, I give you a point chip for the day. If you have had a stellar-for-you day, you get a bonus. 
Each of my kids have different behavioral challenges, some more than others. They are not expected to have the same exact performance levels. But when they try their best, I acknowledge it. I can't expect my three year old not to be difficult at times, or my quirky guy not to have various issues over minor things, or my strong willed child not to challenge. My goal is not stepford children, but children who make conscious decisions to be self aware and do the best THEY can in a difficult-to-them situation . However, If you are just out to push buttons, you can lose your bonus, keep purposely being difficult, and I will trade your point chip for a half point chip. But I can't take your 1/2 point chip because you did do your chores.
 See how it works?
Anyway, on Saturday evenings, it's shopping for prizes time. I have the store stocked with  candy, to bird calling cards, to leapster cartridges.
The contents will change weekly.
 There are also disks that came with the pegs system. 
They have great rewards printed on them like breakfast in bed, face painted, date with mom, wrestle with dad, and so on.
Each prize has a price. Candy, like a regular size bag of M&M's are 7 points, leapfrog cartridge is 9, date night out with mom is 10, face painted, is 3 and so on. They can choose to blow their chips in one night on the lower prizes, or they can save up and get bigger prizes.
So far, it is a beautiful thing, and they are looking forward to shopping on Saturday.
 M and K are really putting a lot of effort in to make those chips flip, our daily rhythm is smoothing out quite nicely, and their math skills are shining up.
 E is kind of confused, but we just drag him along.
As usual.-K


julie said...

I love the new store system. I set up our chore store and it is a big hit!

Kim said...

That sounds like a fun way to motivate helpfulness:) I, too, have been of the mindset that we all help because we're a family, a team, and we have to work together to get things done and to keep things flowing smoothly...ha ha, yeah right! It IS a nice notion but they SO don't get that yet...and I DO still need I might try a variation of what you're doing! Thanks for the cool idea:)