Introducing the Points Project

Welcome to the points project.

I decided my kids would have to earn their own spending money this summer.  My goal was to get myself out of the role of saying NO quite as often.   Every time we go anywhere, my kids want me to buy stuff.  Candy, sodas, legos, video games, small plastic chunks of garbage… the list of stuff they want is endless.   So the first day of summer, I stuck a list of chores on the refrigerator.  It wasn’t exactly received with open arms.

the points projectHonestly, I had one child who met it with excitement… one child who rolled his eyes and said “seriously?”… and one husband who chuckled and asked me how long I thought it would last.

So far, it’s lasted almost two weeks and shows no signs of failure.  I left things deliberately undocumented so that I could modify the points thing as the boys discover loopholes.

I made a list of stuff I want them to take over doing and that I find genuinely helpful.  Most of them are things they are capable of doing with little effort and have mastered.  One of them (clean the litter box) is a new skill and requires assistance. In general, the points are based on how long it will take a child to do the chore.  A five minute chore is worth five points. I doubled it for the cat litter box because it’s a gross chore and it deserves “double time” compensation.

I added a list of habits I want to reward (reading) and areas of personal growth we are working on (Reading for Watty, eating vegetables for GoGo). Notice that I included hugging me and telling me something nice.  I like hugs.

Since we are house sitting for my mom, I added the chores that need to be done at her house.  My mom said she will pay them when she gets back.

When I launched the point system, I estimated that my kids would each earn somewhere between 30 ($1.50) and 50 ($2.50) points most days.  At worst, I’d be paying each boy under $20 a week.  

That sounds like a LOT OF MONEY to a little kid.  I knew we’d have them put a tithe into the offering plate (10 percent of $20 is $2, we were handing them a buck each as they walked into church) and another ten percent into their “car savings” account.  Last summer, between legos, Happy Meals, and assorted junk I know I spent more a week on them than that.  I’ve been generous with the points, and my estimate was a little low.

ps- yes, I make them pay for their own happy meals.  They also have to buy my meal or at least buy my drink.  It’s fair and they didn’t argue.

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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

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