Over the years with the boys I’ve tried many different ways to
get them to behave reward their good behaviour. When they were little reward sticker charts worked really well, but they’re a bit big for that now.
Now the boys are 7 & 8 it’s all about the money for them. They see so much advertised on TV or want more expensive toys now. We want to teach them how to save for things that they want but I also don’t want to start giving them weekly pocket money just for the sake of it, giving them the impression they’re entitled to it.
Instead we’ve developed a house point system, 1 house point = 10p. They can earn house points for doing all sorts of things around the house or at school for example;
- putting washing away
- helping with dinner
- getting ready for school/bed without fighting
- getting all they’re spellings right at school
- achieving in sports
Due to my back condition they do help out a lot around the house and it also feels right that they should be rewarded for doing all these little jobs.
It also works the other way round as well, if they are badly behaved, fighting or answering me back then they will get a warning and if they continue then they loose house points. This is really effective for us as they are past the stage of being able to sit them on the naughty step or make empty threats, they will call my bluff!
Until this week I’ve been writing the house points on the chalk board and at the end of each week we cash them in and put the money in their wallets for them to save up for whatever they want. The boys are really competitive so always try to outdo each other to get the most house points each week. In 2015 they saved up for a whole year to go on holiday to America, with all their Birthday and Christmas money as well they had enough to buy an ipad each.
This week I’ve modified the system slightly, instead of writing house points on a board, adding and deducting numbers during the week, I’ve decided to use real money. I went to the bank and got £20 worth of 10p and £1 coins. I took the boys to the supermarket and bought them a small kilner jar each and explained the new rules.
From now on when they earn house points I will give them 10p per point and together we will put them in their jar. However when they are badly behaved and loose a house point then they will need to go to the jar and take out 10p for every house point they’ve lost and give it back to me. At the end of the month we will then count up the money in their jars and they can put it in their wallets.
I’m hoping that this will have more impact on them as it is actual money in their hands rather than a number on the board. They are much more excited about putting the money in their jars and I’ve only had to take one house point away this week and it was given back begrudgingly, so I think I’m making my point.
I know the boys are only 7 & 8 but I think it’s important to start teaching them that they need to earn their pocket money. They do need to help out around the house and take some responsibility for small things, like tidying their bedrooms or cleaning up after themselves. This is a great way for them to feel appreciated as well, I try not to say ‘if you do this you get a house point’. Instead I take the approach of ‘well done you’ve really helped or been really nice so I’d like to give you a house point’.
What reward systems do you use with your kids?