Cash for Good Behavior, Part 2

Well, a few weeks ago I blogged about paying my 7 year old son for treating his 2 year old brother with more consideration. Treat him nice and with patience, gain a quarter in the mason jar.  Tease and pester and provoke, and you lose a quarter.

At first this worked really great.  Jonah was stringing together acts of patience like a monk just up from his prayer chair. I witnessed thoughtful sharing, true consideration, and genuine helpfulness.  Ben was getting sweetly buckled into his car seat, legos were being shared and boo-boos kissed.

From time to time I would also catch the old pestering and pull a quarter from the mason jar.  At one point, there was about 5 bucks in there, and the deal was, once you earn $10, you get to keep the cash.

The big problem with this arrangement is, I had to keep watch!  It was dizzying trying to keep up with all the quarters in and out of the jar and eventually it became too much.  I also knew we had crossed over into sticky territory when I praised my 7 year old for putting the cereal box back in the pantry.  He replied, “can I have a quarter for that?”

So, pressing forward, there’s no more cash rewards but there’s still lots of poking and picking. And I’m definitely open to suggestions.

2 thoughts on “Cash for Good Behavior, Part 2

  1. We’ve occasionally used what we call “the fun jar” with our 4 kids. Here’s how it works.

    At the start of the month we put 30 $1 bills into a mason jar on top of the refrigerator. Whenever one of them fails to do something on the predefined “fun jar list” we remove $1. The list includes things like flush the toilet, make your bed in the morning, turn off lights when you leave the room, close the door when you leave the house, put your dishes in the dishwasher after each meal, etc. At the end of the month whatever money is left we use for something fun – family movie night, dinner out, etc.

    Pros & cons:
    – It’s a simple system with a discrete list of punishable offenses.
    – But, it’s only punitive and not rewarding – no way to earn back lost $$.
    – But, the “reward” is at the beginning of the month when $30 is deposited into the jar. Call it faith in good deeds to come?
    – It’s limited to chore-type things rather than relational behavior.

    We’ve done it off & on, usually when we see those behaviors slipping and we think it’s time for a reminder. We’ll do it for a couple months (with enough money at the end of the month for a Redbox & a box of microwave popcorn 🙂 then not keep up with it for a while until we feel like it’s needed again.

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