Stake Conference was this past week and it was all about work. Finding work, losing work, enjoying work, teaching kids to work and on and on. It was a very familiar topic. As a child we only had 2 lesson topics for family home evening, work and minding. And to my parents credit I remember having FHE at least once a week sometimes twice. A lesson sunday night on minding then putting that minding to use Monday night when Mom and Dad told us to work. Of course all in the name of Family Home Evening. I am confident I learned how to work. In fact I like to work. But I am a complete failure when it comes to teaching my kids to love work. They can work but the sure do moan and groan and take forever to complete a task.

Back to stake conference; the stake primary president spoke to the primary children about work.
Why is it when someone else tells you child something they listen? When Ashtyn's first preschool teacher taught her "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit" she loved to say it, use it and her fits nearly disappeared. Alayna was in the Costco restroom and heard another mommy tell her little girl, who did NOT want help washing her hands "That is what mommies and daddies are for, they help their kids do things" miraculously Alayna started letting me help her.
One of the stake primary presidents ways to help kids learn to work was the use of tickets.

We currently use marbles for behavior and obedience. If we ask the girls to do something and they do it right away they get a marble. (get jammies on, brush teeth, etc...) Or if they have been happy or kind to each other they get a marble, on the other hand if they are mean, unkind, don't do what they are asked or do it slow or with a bad attitude a marble is taken away. When their jar is filled to the line they get a reward of their choice. They have chosen things like going to build a bear, going swimming, a pottery studio and movies. It has been very effective. I can't take credit for this method, I copied it from my sister in law Emily, who I often go to for parenting advice.
But when it comes to work I struggle. We've tried allowance and job charts which failed. And then there is the part of me that strongly feels that children should not expect to be paid to do chores. As a part of a family you should responsibilities that in turn will give you satisfaction and the benefits of having a roof over your head and a safe place.

So the tickets go something like this....You earn tickets for doing your assigned chores and any other work around the house. Then if you want to play with a friend, have a late over, watch a movie, watch tv, play the wii, computer etc... you have to pay with tickets. The best part of it all....it also teaches responsibility and honesty. The children are entirely in charge of their tickets. When the chore is complete they go to the bank bag and put the correct amount of tickets in their bag. When they want to watch a show they have to put the correct amount of tickets back in the bank bag. It has only been 4 days but it has been as effective as the marble jar. Maybe even more. I haven't heard I am bored for 4 days (a phrase that was said at least every twenty minutes) I hear things like what other jobs can I do? Have the dishes in the dishwasher been unloaded? Can I have some cleaner to wash the walls? Are there any clothes to fold?

Music to my ears.

And on the other end I hear; I have x amount of tickets I would like to watch a movie. (A movie, not 3 or 4) tv watching has almost been eliminated because they would rather earn more tickets and there is not a complaint. They are so excited to get up and do some more work. The other night as I was making dinner, the table was already set and all of the sudden I heard the vacuum going upstairs (Ummm, that has never happened. I can count on one hand how many times that vacuum has been used by someone other than me). This morning someone made my bed.

And I am more excited to let them play with a friend or have a late over, because they have "earned it." Which is my final point. Work is something that should be expected when you are part of a family. As well as enjoying things like a movie or playing with a friend. The tickets make it a a good balance.

How do you teach your kids to work?


Tara said...

what a fantastic idea! i'm going to implement that one as well- i already started the marble idea after seeing it at your house:) how do we teach our kids to work? i yell at them! no really, i've been trying to make it fun to work, because if i'm constantly yelling at them to pick this up, clean that up- they are programmed to think work means mom yelling at them. so instead i've REALLY tried to be happy or "whistle while you work"...wish me good luck!

Wendy said...

I wonder if that will work for teenagers?
I know Rylee would love it but would Austin? Hum...
Loved your post! Thanks for the Stake Conference summary.

snakeriverwalton said...

I usually just beat the kid into submission- but maybe the tickets would work better- fewer bloody clothes to wash, right? JK- I really like this idea. Except Jared tells me swimming is off limits for any program like this- it's as important to him as breathing (he says)!