Family Fun magazine gave me an idea that has had our kids jumping to make their beds, do extra chores, and find ways to serve our neighbors and friends. Some may call it bribery, but — whatever works! And it has yielded a very fun family weekend on a number of levels.
It started by making Daddy Dollars. (Check out the website here to make your own)
(Isn’t he a lot handsomer than George??)
All 3 kids have their own list of things that they can do to get Daddy Dollars…we chose areas that we wanted each to work on (morning routines that include making beds, getting dressed on their own, eating breakfast, brushing teeth — all these things done before school get one Daddy dollar)…Owen can sweep once a day under the dining room table for a dollar; practice reading Japanese for ten minutes; Annie clean up the entranceway; Olivia has no “accidents” in 24 hours; each one has devotions/Bible reading and prayer time, etc.
Then, they have a list of ways that they can “spend” their money…. 3 dollars, for example, gets a night walk with Mom or dad; doing make-up; going for a bike ride, special individualized story time with Mom or Dad… 5 dollars gets a family movie night with popcorn; a Takamoto kid sleepover (all 3 in the same room)… 7 dollars gets, for example, a date with Mom or dad; a friend sleepover night.
We started just over a week ago, and so this weekend was their first time for big spending. Owen and I made brownies on Thursday (5 points), and then today he spent his cumulated bucks going with Eric to the local onsen (hot springs). Annie and I had a great afternoon at Starbucks yesterday (score for Mom! – 7 points); and Olivia treated the family to ice cream last night (7 points). What we’ve loved is the intentional family/relational time. Annie and I ended up having a special talk about adoption — a chance for her to think through and ask a few more questions about what it all really means. Eric was able to spend some special time affirming Owen at the onsen about how hard he has been working at school in learning Japanese, and Olivia was the hero last night — taking her older siblings out for a kids cone at Baskin Robbins. I’m sure the enthusiasm will dim at some point, but in the meantime, our family is having a lot of fun making –and spending– money.