Sunday, March 16, 2008

Marbles


About three weeks ago, we came up with an idea to motivate the kids (mine are ages 11, 8, and 5) to do more around the house and limit their screen time. Now, we're not the most controlling of parents (and the kids were taking advantage of that), but we decided to give it a try. Here's how it works: The kids can earn a marble by doing jobs from a pre-established list of things we traditionally had a hard time getting the kids to do. For example, read a book for 20 minutes, practice piano, set the table for dinner, make your bed in the morning, etc all can earn you a marble.

As you accumulate marbles during the week, you can exchange a marble for screen time or save them to exchange for allowance at the end of each week. In haste, I offered up 50 cents per marble up to $10 total for the week and this has been expensive, BUT I have to say that this method has worked like a charm! Unbelievably, the beds were made before school by someone other than ME! My kids actually started reading - ALOT! I have told everyone who will listen about this fantastic "marble method". When's the last time your kids argued over who's turn it was to set the table with each one hoping it was their turn?! Well, tonight the kids started lobbying for a marble vacation. My son, who has been extremely motivated by money since he was two and scrambled by week's end to have at least 20 marbles in his jar, begged us to go back to "free TV and playstation", telling us he didn't care about the money anymore - (another shocker!) In his exact words, "I just want to be free!". I told him I'd think about it...

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