a few weeks ago, we finally got around to trying gem jars at our house. i first ripped out the article here - filed it away and forgot about it. then the traveling circus started hers up, and i got inspired to put some jars into action.
by pure coincidence, these cups hold 100 gems. filling up a cup will net you $10. so that makes each gem worth 10 cents. the kids can earn up to 5 gems a day. one for making up their bed, one for clearing dishes from the table, one for keeping shoes in closet, one for hanging up their coat, and one for putting dirty clothes in the laundry hamper.
it doesn't sound like much, but it really is a big help to me. the first few days i mindlessly picked up the clothes anyway, and the kids got all upset. or i would automatically pick up the dishes, or the shoes, coats, etc. i had to force myself to NOT pick up. weird.
they have only lost a few gems for fighting or not listening. usually the threat of "i'm taking a gem" is enough. at some point i expect them to realize that getting into trouble only costs 10 cents, and in some cases might be totally worth it. in fact, i'll be a little disappointed if they don't. by that time i hope these chores will be habits and we won't have to worry so much about the gems. now we just have to come up with $10s!
all in all, this is working in our house.
the kids have already cashed in for $10,
and are working on their second $10.
they wasted it all away on junk from five below.
the other day we gave them each 5 gems
to clean up the playroom.
it was done in record time.
bribery? maybe. but it worked.
and k, the youngest, is by far the best at this system.
she reminds everyone else.
what works in your house?