Monday, 23 May 2016

The practice of pocket money.

Pocket money is a weird one. I have got fed up of the constant "Can I have this?" when we go to town or the supermarket and trying to explain just "no" to a 2 and 4 year old just makes a conversation go round in circles with no real result except the child saying, "maybe next time." No, not next time, just not at all!
Rob and I have a conversation about how you start the notion of pocket money. Do you pay the kids for tidying up? No, they should tidy up for free if they are making the mess! What about helping out in a way they wouldn't usually? Sorting washing or laying the table? Again, aren't these just good manners and an enjoyable way for the kids to help you? It isn't a paid privilege to just be a nice person. We want to instill that helping is an act of love and kindness and not something you do for a reward.  

So how do we let the children have money that they feel they have earned to spend on trips to the supermarket so they feel they have worked hard for something? Well, we have decided to find an area in their life that is a challenge and then practising the challenge gets rewarded!
For us, sleep has always been an issue and staying in bed until their GrowClock tells them they can get up is certainly a challenge. We decided that as they don't know the value of coins (yet) they can get 3 coins for staying in bed all night until the sun on their clock is up. Is it working? With Raph, yes and everyday is another achievement for him. After doing it for 3 days I decided to nail down what we were doing; I put a few extra coins in their piggy banks and we decided to go to the shops so they could see that the money they get can be spent on what they want. 

This was such a fantastic experience for them as we sat and counted out the money they had and I then wrote it on a bit of paper so they could compare it to price tags and we could talk about having more or less than what was needed. 
We headed straight to the fancy dress section in Tesco, as I knew from another shopping trip with Etta that she had her eye on an Ariel dress. As soon as Raph saw the Iron Man costume (not that he actually knows who Iron Man is) he was excitedly asking if he could get it. We really hammered down that he could use "His" money if he had enough! He did with a sub from Rob but I wanted them to understand that their own money could get them nice things, so this first experience had to be clear to them. They took them over to the cashier who said all the right things and was so patient with counting out their bags of coins. There were a lot of 5p and 2p coins! But they cooed in all the right places and congratulated them for earning the money; it couldn't have gone better!

They were very pleased with their purchases and both of them fully understand that they have to use their money. When out with Etta this week, she asked, "Can I have that" which I just reponded by telling her she needs to sleep in bed and get her money, then she can have what she wants. 
Our bedtime issues are what we use for now, but as they grow out of them it can change to homework tasks or anything where they need a small reward for trying at something.

They were so happy with these suits, I wonder what it will be this week as they have earned significantly less and the bank of dad will not bail them out this time!



  1. Brilliant blog, once my little one is a bit older pocket money for sleeping in his own bed will be introduced!

    1. It is working so well for us right now and I am pleased! Hope you have luck with it! Emily x

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