Over the past few years, our rewards for Behavior Bucks have evolved as our children have grown and their interests have evolved.
I began with making coupons available for purchase (like little credit cards). These were fun, but it didn’t allow the kids to see ALL the rewards available quickly and easily. Also, they’d get bent or lost.
Then I changed to a simple list (no pictures). This wasn’t fun enough. I learned that I need to ADVERTISE all the fun things they can buy in order to more effectively encourage them to work towards earning Behavior Bucks. When you go to a store, there are fun colors and bright pictures to entice you to buy things… A simple black-and-white list wouldn’t get you excited to make a purchase.
Alas, here is my latest edition of the Behavior Buck Rewards:
There are pictures to accompany each item, both to increase the excitement factor AND, as an added benefit, so our toddler can interpret the different rewards available. They are all on one page so everything can easily be seen at one glance (no flipping through cards, or reading through long lists).
I also changed some of the prices– generally our kids earn 2-3 Behavior Bucks per day (one for chores, and one for school well done, and one for doing something extra or exceptional). The conversion rate is approximately 2 Behavior Bucks per dollar we spend out of pocket for an activity (so in monetary value, they earn around $1/day). For example, it costs us about $10 to take a child out to eat at a restaurant, so therefore, it costs 20 Behavior Bucks for this treat.
Now $1/day is probably more allowance than I’d hand out, but oftentimes parents give allowance on TOP of freebie fun outings out to eat or to the movies. Although we do sometimes just go out and do things for free without “charging” the kids, generally we require them to pay for things using their Behavior Bucks. (This is also an effective way to find out if the kids are actually interested in going somewhere/doing something… If they’re not willing to spend their Behavior Bucks to go see a movie, then it’s obviously not a movie they’d actually like to see).
Also, we take away Behavior Bucks for naughty behavior. And they do NOT earn them if they haven’t finished their schoolwork or chores (we hand out Behavior Bucks every night before prayers/bedtime). So in reality, although our kids could earn our kids earn 21 Behavior Bucks in any given week, they actually earn (and keep) an average of 12 Behavior Bucks per week (an equivalent of around $6). I think it is money well-spent to encourage positive behavior, in addition to teaching delayed gratification as they work and save to earn some of the more expensive rewards!