We’ve decided, to keep us posting regularly, to start something called Worked For Us Wednesday. We’ll be posting different things we have tried and had success with. Whether that be a new recipe, a parenting idea, a school project, etc…if it worked for us we want to share it with you! 🙂
We stress to our kids the importance of being trustworthy. If we can trust them with small stuff (ie: doing chores, following instructions) then when they want more responsibility and more privileges we will be able to trust them with those.* When the kids are following directions and doing what they should be, we often will say to them, “Great Job! You just earned money in the trust bank! Cha Ching!” Then when we ask them to do something and they don’t follow through, we say, “Oh no! You just took money out of the trust bank.”
The girls especially liked this image and wanted to add money to the trust bank. So, we decided to create an actual “trust bank” for the kids to add to each day. We thought that in order to have them encourage one another and work together it should be one bank that they all contribute to. We got two jars and filled one with tokens (you could use beans, pasta, slips of paper, etc…nothing fancy needed) and left the other empty. Anytime the kids follow directions cheerfully and right away, they earn a token in the “trust bank.” Whenever they do something we always ask them to do (ie: put away things when they are done without being asked, help out a sibling, show kindness, etc) they earn a token as well. When the jar gets 20 tokens in it they get to choose a privilege. Some of the privileges they can earn are candy, TV, video game time, and bike riding. They each get to choose one privilege that they can save for later or redeem immediately.
It has been so great to see them work together and do the things they are supposed to do. I much prefer to be the mom who rewards and encourages her kids to do the things they know to do, than the mom who nags and screams to get her children to do these things. It has worked for us!
*His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
– Matthew 25:21 (NIV)