Finally I said, "I don't understand Shea, I thought you would have been so happy about this opportunity. I'm having trouble understanding your reservation. Can you help me understand?"
She replied, "It just doesn't seem possible dad, like it's some kind of joke or something. It just doesn't seem possible that you would pay us $XX every week." and then she giggled some more, like she'd won the lottery. More on how we determined the size of their paycheck.
The responsibilities went something like this:
Morningget up on time
get ready for school
get everything ready to go to school on time
assigned computer work
Long term Projects advanced
all stuff organized and signed in folders for tomorrow
Zone(make sure nothing bad is happening there)
Checked, clean & tidy
Fully participate to clean up dinner
BedtimeIn bed on time
School stuff laid out
backpack in place
Citizenship Bonus(twice per week)
Call a friend
plan an activity
Day OneDay one went pretty well. All of the kids were very anxious to deposit their slips into the bank. Logan approached me first tonight, asking me for a signature.
"Well, let's see." said I. "I began running through the responsibilities. "Music practiced?"
I ran through a few more... "Let's take a look at this bedroom." A sheepish grin eased into Logan's face.
"Ummm.... Maybe you could give me a moment Dad."
"Don't worry Logan. I want you to succeed and have a good experience with this. How about we take a look, I'll make some suggestions on what can be done, and you see if you don't agree that you like it better that way."
"I feel like I wish you weren't inspecting my room dad..."
"Well, if you will allow me to inspect, make suggestions on how to tidy it and organize it, then I can sign your paper with a 4. Otherwise, I'd have a hard time signing a 4."
"You'll still sign me a 4?"
"Yes, if we can tidy it."
We ended up learning how to find a place for everything, and everything in it's place, removing the clutter, and adding some of Logan's personality instead. The room was pretty nice, honestly. The bed was made, and only 5 or six things on the floor. But after going through, Logan said to me with kind a surprised tone, "Hmmm.... I'm kinda surprised, but I actually like this a lot better. Thanks Dad."
I grinned and beamed inside. "Your Welcome. I'm happy it worked out so well." And I truly was!
I went through a similar experience with Hayden and Shea. Both of them hesitant to have me inspect their work. But when they found that I was there to help them learn to improve their ability to keep a straightened room, and that I was intent on giving them credit for a job well done, they lost their reservations and cleaned up nicely.
They absolutely beamed when I signed their cards with a 4, and a 4 plus bonus for Shea. She called one of her friends for extra citizenship points.
You may have noticed that I'm hesitant to reveal the amount we determined to 'pay' them weekly for their new jobs. But it was a lot more than the monthly allowance we had been giving them before. As directed, we calculated everything we spent on our kids for clothing, toys, parties, entertainment (movies, parties) etc. per week and then took it at 2/3rds a weekly rate, because they may not choose to purchase underwear and socks, and some other necessities. It was quite a bit. Don't be surprised yourself if this number may seem unreasonable. But when you consider the prices of winter shoes, jackets, coats, sweaters, gloves, etc, etc., it all adds up.
The idea is, that they will now buy these things with their own money, and begin to therefore take ownership, rather than feeling entitled to it.
So far, we haven't had a purchase moment, but I promise to make a followup report.
Please, if you have used this method, I would love to swap stories with you. I haven't heard anything from any other friend of mine on their usage of this tool yet, and I'd love to swap stories from the trenches on it.