I have regular kids. What I mean by that is not that they aren’t my absolute favorite kids in the whole universe, but that they have normal kid tendencies. They need to be reminded to do their routines and chores. They can sometimes fight with each other or disobey. They leave messes out and don’t remember to clear their place after every single meal.
The thing is, I am a big believer in bribery. Or for the politically correct, let’s call it Reinforcing Positive Behavior. One day my kids will learn there is an intrinsic value to doing the right thing, but kids aren’t programmed to “feel good” about following their after school routine or putting their laundry away. That is where rewards come in handy.
And any good reward system is easy. Easy for parents and easy for kids. For my family, quarter jars work. And one of the reasons it works, is it is really easy to follow through and maintain. And another thing, the setup is not an eyesore. Beautiful things seem to stick longer, ya know?
Once we’ve rewarded a good behavior until it becomes a habit, we can focus on rewarding a different behavior. Slowly and steadily helping the kids for better habits. And of course, it always works perfectly … wink, wink. But we keep trying.
I created one jar for each of my three girls and then there is a jar that holds the reward quarters. At any given point during the day when I want to reinforce something good, I can say “get yourself a quarter.” They go to the table and get themselves a quarter. Since I designed the quarter jars as part of the table’s centerpiece, they are always there and easy to access! Since quarters are money, and the kids like to have their own money to spend, they are excited to go put a quarter in their jar. Quarters add up!!
Each girl is also allowed to give one of their sisters a quarter each day, so they can reward kindnesses between siblings.
We love Quarter Jars because they work!!
The coin receptacle tops are out from card-stock paper. They fasten on to the mason jars really easily. I chose some fun vintage-looking blue mason jars. The ribbon around the tops marks the jar’s owner. Easy, easy.
Have you done something good today? Have your kids? Look closely, I think you’ll find something worth rewarding!