Around this time of year, we especially appreciate how well our children have learned and how much they’ve accomplished over the past few months since the school year began. In our family, we give rewards or treats for what’s been accomplished. Here are some wonderful suggestions for treats or rewards:
- $15 to spend and a trip to the bookstore
- a trip to Starbucks with a book to read (one child, one parent)
- a nature walk at a local park or nature preserve
- a day spent reading, doing art, or some other activity your child enjoys
- a day spent listening to books on tape/CD
- a day spent cooking their favorite treat (and eating it)
- a day spent pretending to be whatever the child wants to be (firefighter, TV news anchor, reporter, etc.)
Along with treats and rewards, I have always given my children the opportunity to do chores and earn money. It works very simply. I make a list of things I believe the child is capable of doing (laundry, cooking, cleaning, tidying) and pay them accordingly (usually $1 or $2). I have a list of regular chores (that must be done daily or weekly for which the child is responsible) and special chores. The regular chores must be done and the child is responsible, therefore she gets paid when she does the chore and if she doesn’t do the chore (and I have to do it), she pays me. They take turns choosing special chores for which they earn extra money.
On rewards days, they can use their extra money to spend it on a book or special treat, but I’ve always encouraged them to save it for college, Christmas, or a family birthday. Knowing that they have the ability to spend it if they choose helps children to save because it’s a choice, not a requirement. As a result, my children have become excellent savers.