Ransom Family

Random Ramblings and Happenings

Chores and Rewards

on March 18, 2011

I came up with a new system for discipline last night. I decided that if the kids misbehaved that instead of me yelling at them and spanking them or giving a time out and making my job harder, I’d make my job easier by writing chores that they can do (even Vincent-3years old-can do most of them with a tiny bit of help) on popsicle sticks that I had in my craft stuff that I bought at Dollar Tree a while ago. I looked online and found some chores to get my idea juices going and filled up the colored sticks. I wrote some of them a few times on the kids’ favorite colors that I’m sure they’ll pick. Tricky. =)All nice in the cup. I may find a nicer bucket or something later. We’ll see how it works for a while first.
Then I decided to make a cup mostly plain sticks with special rewards for extra good behavior that they can do without leaving home for most of them, so they will get a nearly immediate reward for doing something extra helpful or nice. I’d like them to earn those all day long.
I made the colored ones for the chore one originally, but then decided that reading a book, doing a puzzle, or writing a letter aren’t really punishments. I was thinking it might be nice to have a surprise nice one in there, but I don’t want to reward bad behavior. I taped the end of the colored ones so they won’t mix in the chore cup. Olivia-5 years old-helped me come up with some of these. Others are surprises.I told them the new plan this morning on the way to drop them off at school and let them know that starting fresh now they could earn chores or rewards and that they’d better behave. Guess what? The kids all did awesome today! Hooray!

Here is how it worked today.
-Vincent had to choose a chore stick after I dropped the older girls off at school. His stick told him to wash the dining room table. I got him a washcloth and he did it.

-All four kids (only three are in the running for chores and rewards since Abby is only 7 1/2 weeks old) were SO great at Costco after school. Yes, Costco with four kids CAN be done. Elizabeth-8 years old-put nearly everything in the cart (I really didn’t get too much there. Just six things.) and Olivia and Vincent sat in the baby seats. Abigail was in a chest carrier on me. I was calm and smiling and it was a great trip. They are generally pretty good in the stores anyway because I normally take them with me, but Costco can get crazy. I heard people saying things like, “Wow, she has four kids with her” and it didn’t sound like a negative thing either. At checkout a customer close to us praised Elizabeth for being such a good helper while she put all the items up to pay. They each got to pick a reward stick when we got home. I decided that they could pick two reward sticks and choose the one they wanted to do the most. What’s a reward without a choice? Vincent picked puzzles. Olivia picked computer games or 2 pieces of candy (she chose computer games). Elizabeth picked ice cream.

-Elizabeth gave me some suggestions of new things I could write for rewards so I decided that I could write on both sides of the stick, especially those things Vincent won’t do, like play with Polly Pockets. I put trains on the opposite side of that for him.

-Later Vincent got to draw another chore stick. He drew pick up books. He did it without a fight. The stick told him to. I think this is working!

-Vincent went to bed a little early tonight because he missed his nap and we are trying to figure out a better bedtime system (he went right to sleep) and the girls wanted to draw their own chores after reading just for fun. Elizabeth was nearly begging us to make her do chores. Elizabeth cleaned the bathroom sink and Olivia cleaned some doorknobs. They liked it. I don’t know about this chore thing with them. I’m pretty sure they won’t like all of them…
The girls were great at going to sleep tonight too. I didn’t have to yell all day, except when I was making dinner and they were “cleaning” a little and then I just asked Andy to supervise while I finished making the pizzas. Pretty good to only be frustrated with them once, right? I think so.

Chore sticks say:
clean bathroom
trash
weeds
dishes
dress Barbies
pillows and blankets (meaning pick them up)
toilet paper (meaning refill the basket in the bathroom)
wash cupboards
pick up sticks (outside)
pick up toys
pick up rocks (outside)
wash walls
pick up toys
dress Pollys
clean doorknobs
make bed (I don’t normally require them to do this because it’s kind of dumb and it doesn’t really bother me in their room. My bed is different and must be straightened before I go to bed.)
clean windows
wash trash can (in the kitchen)
pick up books
vacuum (this is on a green stick for Elizabeth)
clean sink
clean mirrors
wash couches (the leather ones)
mop (this is on a green stick for Elizabeth)
laundry
wash fridge and oven (the outside)
dust
wash table
clean baseboards (I think I’ll let them pick a room)
wash chairs

Reward sticks say:
dress up
rocket (Elizabeth’s idea)
ice cream
computer game
watch movie
do puzzle
read book (they do this anyway)
bubbles
paint fingernails
play outside (they do this anyway, but sometimes it can be special for just them.)
play a game with sibling
puppet show
take pictures with camera
popsicle
play Barbies
write letter to Grandpa
stamps picture
build a fort
dance
polly pockets
make necklace
play with friend
buy book at library (they are a quarter where we live for kid’s books)
paint picture
build trains
iron beads (those little beads you can turn into shapes or animals. Our kids LOVE them. Use a light colored blanket or make them sit at a special spot to get all the little ones that drop.)
paint fingernails
go to library
play monopoly
read a book to sibling
write story
2 pieces candy
write letter to Grandma
play a game
pet shops
wrestle
picnic
play at park
scooter
chocolate milk
call someone

We will add to these as we come up with new ideas. I’m excited about this plan.

Do you have any fun, free ideas we can add?
Or not fun ones for the chores, but good for kids?

Linking up to:

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Organize and Decorate Everything
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9 responses to “Chores and Rewards

  1. Arin says:

    okay so I'm a bit curious-maybe i missed something. But do they only pick a chore if they do something bad..or do they always pick like 2 chores a day and then if they are bad they get an extra one??

  2. Arin says:

    btw-I think it's a great way to discipline and do chores either way.

  3. We did something like this a while back. Thanks for sharing your ideas!I'd love to have you share this at my For The Kids Friday Link Party! Hop on by!http://sunscholars.blogspot.com/2011/03/for-kids-friday-3.html

  4. Dani W says:

    What a good idea!!! I will have to keep this in mind for the VERY near future!

  5. NaDell says:

    Our kids DO have chores already. These are just extra ones to give them if they need something more.

  6. Jemmett Clan says:

    I love this idea!!! I get sick of yelling at my kids and spanking them and time outs (especially because I feel like doing those gets me no where). Anyway, LOVE IT!!! Hoping it keeps working. I am trying to figure out what I could do to make it for my kids…Emily would be fine, but Ethan is a little harder to find chores for!!

  7. No, thank you! I do NOT want to try your bedtime… although it sounds like you figured it out! I like the new ideas! Abigail's pictures are adorable!

  8. Leanne says:

    These are great ideas. I'm so glad they're working for you and the kids are doing great with it. I like that you have the kids input too. Thanks for linking to We're Organized Wednesday.

  9. Thanks for sharing this at For the Kids Friday at SunScholars! I will be posting the next party tonight. I hope to have you linking up again this week!:)rachel @ SunScholars.blogspot.com

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