Points Project Update: The No-Nag Solution

I skipped last week’s update on the Points Project.  I wasn’t sure where it was headed, and I was concerned that the whole thing would end in disaster. My kids had money in their possession, and pretty much stopped doing chores.

Each day last week, the conversation went something like this:

Me: Boys, go make your bed.  It’s for points.
Watty:  I don’t need the money right now.
GoGo: It’s not worth the points.

Rather than nagging, I decided to let things run their course.  In part, this was because my kids were already restricted from video games for some (ahem) attitude issues.  I had enough on my hands.  But in part, I wanted to see if the Points Project would work without nagging.  It was hard to let them blow off all their chores, and I did still require basic household contribution (take dishes to sink, pick up your own trash, pick your clothes up off the floor) and sanitation (brush your teeth, put some clothes on, wash your hands).

I’m here to say that it’s working without nagging. Excuse me while I go dance a celebration dance.  This is big news in my house.  Last week, I allowed my kids to spend every last cent that they had earned.  That was really hard for me, because they spent it on stuff that I didn’t want them to buy.  I held my tongue and let them buy it anyway.  Part of giving kids responsibility for their own money is that they get to make mistakes on how to spend it… just like adults do.

Today at Target, the kids asked for Legos.  On the way to Target, they asked for Happy Meals.  In both cases, the conversation was the same.  This was so much better than nagging last week!  It was painful not to nag, but now the pain was all theirs.  When I reminded them of the chore chart, there was silence.  Watty pouted, but I pretended not to see it.

Them: Buy us Legos / Happy Meals! We want them.
Me: I don’t buy that.  If you want Legos / Happy Meals, you buy that with your own money.
Them: How much money do we have.
Me:  None.  You spent it all.
Them: That’s not fair!!!
Me: If you want more money, earn it.
Them: How?
Me: There is a chore chart on the refrigerator.  Let me know if you have questions.

When we got home from Target, both boys helped carry stuff into the car (5 points).  They made their beds (5 points).  They made my bed (5 bonus points) They swept the porch and walkway (5 points each).  They checked the mail (5 points) and took out the trash (5 points).  All without asking.  They asked me what other chores they could do.  Within an hour, they had each racked up 50 points ($2.50) and they could have earned more.

GoGo had a conversation with me about wanting to earn more points per day.  He asked for assignments that were of higher value than 5-10 points each.  I told him that there would not be bonus points available until he had finished the existing list.  I also reminded him that he got bonus points for making my bed even though it wasn’t on the list.

I did move the chore chart from the refrigerator into a cheap plastic frame.  I can now mark off chores that are not available for the day.  I can also check the kids off for each chore they do.  Thank you Pinterest!  If you want a visual of the chore chart in picture frame, check out my pins on Pinterest.  It’s the board marked Chores (duh).

Bottom line, the points plan is working.  It isn’t perfect, but it is a good tool.  My kids are learning the value of a dollar and the value of their time (in work).  They are getting some good math practice as they add up their points.  They are also learning to negotiate for higher wages.  I have a tool for getting my kids to work and rewarding good habits.  When they fall off the bandwagon, there are natural consequences.  It’s no longer a battle of will power between us, and I like that.

Get social:
Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

Latest posts by Susan Baker (see all)

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.
%d bloggers like this: