• Theresa Gray

Paying for good behavior

Is it a bribe to pay your kids to behave well and help out around the house? We just got done paying our kids their weekly commissions. We try to do it every week on Sunday night, but this week we were late. Each kiddo has a list of five tasks or things that they need to be working on and if they accomplish that item they get a dollar per task for the week. We love the system because it lets us sit down as a family and discuss their progress towards their goal/task. We ask their opinion on how they think they did and then we give them our opinion with specific examples. This lets us provide feedback - we give suggestions for improvement in some areas and praise them for their successes in other areas. Sometime they get bonuses for going above and beyond the list.

Wesley’s List

Get the mail

Take out the trash

Have emotional control

Be resourceful

Have a good attitude

Juliet’s List

Do the dishes

Be brave

Feed and water the kitties

Focus and have clear thinking

Be responsible for your actions

Kids' task list for commisions

This is a system we learned from Dave Ramsey - you pay your child commissions rather than giving them an allowance. And (shocker), sometimes they don't get their money! We believe that this system will help our kids become healthy adults. They are realizing now that if they don’t do their work then they don’t get paid!

After they are paid their earned money we have them put it into three different envelopes that they keep in a drawer in the kitchen. The envelopes are labeled “Give, Save and Spend”. The first dollar they get goes in to a “Give” envelope. The next dollar goes into a “Savings” envelope and the last dollars (three on a good week) go to a “Spend” envelope. They can spend that money on whatever they want. We encourage them to have a plan on what they spend their money on before we go to the store. If my son wants candy, he can buy candy. If my daughter wants doll furniture, she can buy doll furniture. We just discourage them from taking their envelopes into Target without a goal in mind. We’re teaching them to save up money for anything that they want to buy so that they can develop an association of delayed gratification and making purchases. We want them to understand that going into debt to get a thing is a terrible idea.

We keep our own list of things that we want to buy - short term (groceries) and long term (security cameras, update bathroom, new truck, trip to D.C., etc) and we make a point to not make any big purchase that is not on our list. I’m not perfect at staying on the grocery shopping list - especially if I’m at Trader Jo’s! But it helps immensely - have you ever gone grocery shopping, spent $150, and then came home to put it away and realized that you didn’t have dinner for that night?

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