James and I don’t give the kids an allowance. We are not against allowances, but we’ve found another way to use money as an incentive for initiative.
Initiative is: the energy and desire that’s needed to do something.
Initiative means that a kid doesn’t have to be wait to be told to put his dish away, or empty the dishwasher, or take out the trash.
Do you have a child who naturally does chores around the house?
We don’t either – and that’s why we give rewards for initiative!
Dave Ramsay calls it commission (which I love). Here’s how it works in the Pellicane household:
The kids are expected to pitch in with chores. They are part of our team and we need them! We don’t pay for things like doing the dishes, making beds, cleaning the house (bathrooms, floors, etc.) and laundry.
However, when you are caught doing something above and beyond the call of duty, you get paid a magic dollar. (More on this magic dollar in my new book 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom).
One morning, Ethan woke up early to start peeling fruit for our morning smoothie. Wow, what a sight for a mom and dad! That earned him a dollar.
Another new thing we are doing is a weekly chart. Tasks on the chart include things like:
- Practicing the piano
- Cleaning something extra
- Balancing on the Si-Board (James’ crazy balance board that he LOVES)
Each check mark equals 10 cents and the total earned is tallied at the end of the week. We have found money (no kidding!) to be a great motivation for the kids to practice the skills and behaviors we want them to master.
They can get money for memorizing Scripture and reading books too.
The funniest thing is seeing Lucy (age 5) totally into this. She loves checking off her activities and even has been known to check things off before she does an activity instead of when she completes it. (Big brother has corrected this of course).
Lucy is leading the way, dime by dime, to her fortune!
We love using money to encourage our kids to grow in their skills and self-discipline. Money = Motivation. It works for adults (commission, paychecks, etc.) and it works for kids too!