What $1 can buy… and the price of THIS mother’s sanity

I am not into bribing my kids to do what needs done.  They SHOULD, in theory, do things when asked simply because they are part of this family and we all have to work together to keep this household moving.  So that said, I will ask you kindly to not remind me of this fact.  I choose to instead call this something different.  I am going to focus on the lessons being taught by way of chores = money and the value of a dollar.  I have tried and tried to instill the value of money and to also figure out a good system for chores – and seemingly have failed at the attempts over and over.  I was ready to just bribe them and forget it.  Do the stinkin chores without whining and I will GIVE you money!  I am tired of doing all the work myself or having to hear the complaining and stomping around while doing said chores!

But I made one last ditch attempt at NOT bribing them, but trying something new.  Want to know my amazing revelations?  Want to know a method that WORKS??

Since you are still reading I am assuming the answer was yes.  Okay, so here is my sanity saving ideas…

I read on a parenting site where a mom was using ping pong balls for a “chore lotto” and so I decided to try a game.  I wrote 12 chores on 12 balls – things such as “empty dishwasher” and “clean bathroom.”  Each chore gets it’s own ball – with little ones like feeding the dog thrown in with big ones like vacuuming and taking out all the trash.  Each day after school I pick 6 balls that need done that day and put them in a stocking cap. (no peeking that way) Each kid (I have 3) pulls out 2 balls each.  I no longer assign chores – it’s the luck of the draw.  No one says i am making them do all the work, that i always make them do the hated chore most, and on and on.  THEY choose – so THEY are in control.  Each ball is worth 50 cents.  So $1 a day – 5 days a week – equals a hefty $5 bill at the end of Friday night.

But here’s the kicker…  I charge them for things they seemingly cant seem to learn – like no coats or book bags get thrown on the floor in my living room – take it to your room or you owe me one ball worth for forgetting.  Badmouth the dinner I just slaved over?  You loose a whole day’s worth of chore money – AND you still have to eat it.  Whine while doing your chore because you’re mad you pulled a chore you hate?  Loose the money for doing the chore and STILL perform it.  Guess what?  I am finding my kids HATE to be charged money for things they can control!  Oh really?

So right now, money is painfully tight… but do I have $15 bucks a week to save my sanity?  You bet I do.  For the meager price of $1 per day – per kid – I have a chance at NOT doing all the work around here, teaching my kids the value of a job well done, instill some self control and some good habits in my kids, and best of all?  I am not completely beat to a pulp by the end of the day.

Every time we go to a store – there is the inevitable “PLEASE can i have_____” over some small something.  The answer to all and everything is usually no.  But with this money, they can plan ahead and bring some with them and get that pack of gum (which amazingly lasts WAY longer when they purchase it than when I do) or save up for that little treasure they want.  The answer instead of NO is now “do your chores … and save save save…”

I didn’t know the amazing power of a simple $1 bill – but it is mighty and strong!  I may have taken 12 long years to reach this milestone, but I dare say a shred of sanity may – MAY – actually be a regular part of this mom for the foreseeable future.



6 thoughts on “What $1 can buy… and the price of THIS mother’s sanity

  1. Amy says:

    LOVE IT!!! Have you read anything from Love & Logic? This sounds almost exactly what they teach, give them the choice and also say what you charge for other things not getting done. I love it!


  2. Kelly says:

    Great idea! I may have to use this one for my girls. They are still at that age where they like to help but I know that will probably change soon. Just the other day I told my oldest daughter to put her school shoes and a book up before she went outside to play. Instead of putting them in her room she left them on the stairs. I asked my middle daughter if she would like to make a little money. I told her if she put her sister’s things in her room, she would get paid out of her older sister’s allowance for doing it. If this was the first time that this had happened, I wouldn’t have done this but this has been a constant battle. I figured my oldest might start remembering what she is supposed to do if she doesn’t want to pay her sister for doing it. We will see what happens when she comes home from school today.


    • Christi says:

      I may borrow your idea! LOL – I am betting my kids would hate for their siblings to make money off of their forgetfulness. I am game for anything that gets their brains in gear! 🙂


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s