The girls rise early, bring me breakfast in bed, and ask, "Mommy, how can we help you?"
"Can we rub your back? Can we rub your feet? Can we clean the bathrooms? Fold some laundry?"
Nary a harsh word is spoken. Nary a frustration between siblings.
No raised voices.
We all dance around our home, joyfully cleaning and singing "What a Wonderful World!"
Okay, okay . . . maybe not so much.
I just have to tell, you, though, I've discovered something that gets us close!
I read in a Family Fun magazine (sorry, don't remember which month) about a family using this - it is so FUN! Are you ready?
I set out 1 Daddy Dollar for each of the girls first thing in the morning. They have their handy-dandy chore charts to check off as they go. When (and only when) all their morning chores are done, they can pick up their Daddy Dollar. The caveat is that the dollars are only out for so long. If chores aren't done promptly, no moolah. I repeat this at noon and after dinner.
For their chore charts, I blew up a piece of clipart, printed one out for each of the girls, and one for the reward chart. The little circles under the chore have A's, N's, and P's in them. A is for a.m., N is for noon, and P is for P.M. I covered the charts (along with the dollars) with contact paper, so they can mark off each chore with a dry erase marker. I clean them off each night and waalah - they're ready to go again for the next morning.
Now, before you give me a hard time about what a slave driver I am, know that these chores rarely ALL have to be done every day. For example, although the girls have to check the dishwasher 3x a day, it usually only needs to be emptied once a day. They are responsible for checking, though.
Here's Sarah's (6 year old) chart.
And here's Emma's (almost 9 years old).
So, the girls can get 3 Daddy dollars a day, if not more. I've handed out a few "freebies" when I've seen them being extra loving to each other. Once they've got a few dollars, they can go shopping at the Mommy Mall! Here's the breakdown:
This works because, if you notice, I don't have to run to the store, or worse yet, take them to the store as a reward. :) These are all things available at home - and many of them increase that good quality family time.
I made the "biggie" having a friend sleep over. We love to have the girls' friends over, but I don't want this to be an option every weekend. With Daddy's two jobs, all of us being together is a rare treat and I don't want to dig into that time. So far, though, my girls haven't saved up near enough to get close! Just like real money, it burns a hole in their pocket!
Here are the reasons this is working so well for us.
- I don't have to lose my
patiencevoice reminding the girls over and over and over again to do their chores.
- Computer time is limited without me being the bad guy. (If we had a tv, I would obviously have put a tv time reward on there also.) The girls have to pay their money if they want on the computer.
- Candy is also limited without me being the bad guy. On my counter I've got the goodie basket. For $5 Daddy Dollars, the girls can choose one thing out of it. It's full of nothing but dollar store items and a little bit of candy. Playdoh, pencils, nail polish, headbands, etc. Again, usually they don't get any candy unless they pay for it.
- I don't have to lose my
patiencevoice reminding the girls over and over and over again to do their chores. Yes, I meant to put this twice - this is awesome!!
To make your own Daddy Dollars, or Mommy Money, or whatever you'd like to call it, go to www.festisite.com/money. It's very simple - upload your picture, edit as you wish - go to town!
I actually made bills in $1, $5, $10 and $20 denominations. The higher bills were mainly for trading in. So far - this hasn't been necessary yet! I think the most either one of them has had at one time was $5.00, spent on the goodie basket.
There you are! A shining light in my little world - my Wonderful World.