Friday, 29 April 2011

My 4 year old has to earn his treats

Kieran putting the eggs away

What a mean Mummy! Kieran has a star chart and he knows that he has certain things that are his responsibilities throughout the day and that if he achieves these, and is well behaved, he will get a sticker. It used to be that when he got all the stickers, he could get a treat ie a 90p car from Tesco but now he gets cash. He asked if he could have some pennies instead of a car or small toy so he could save his pennies and buy something BIG! I was overjoyed when he approached me with this, clearly we’ve done something right!

The sorts of jobs he does are simple mostly, he makes his own bed and opens his curtains, helps make his own packed lunch, puts his uniform in the washing machine after school, does some tidying etc and any little jobs that I want him to do. Nothing too strenuous, but he is taking on responsibility for looking after his own things / room and is encouraged to help others.

I’m all for letting kids be kids but I don’t see anything wrong in this. Kieran is growing into a helpful & well-mannered boy who is keen to save up for the things he would like and hasn’t got that “I want/I need / I MUST have” attitude that I see so often nowadays (in both children AND adults to be honest!). I really don’t think wanting to “work” for what you get is a bad thing at any age.

What do you think? Am I pushing him to grow / mature too quickly?

*Incidentally – he is currently playing with his Lego vehicles which he made with the big box of Lego wheels we ordered from Amazon after he gave me £8 that he had saved up to pay for them.

Nicki x


Anonymous said...

I'll have to tell my brother about your post. When taking his daughter out, she asked for something expensive and was told it cost too much money. Her response, which horrified me, was "that's ok the whole in the wall will give it to you. (she is 5)

Isil said...

Sorry you may not like what I write but I think this approach teach children to do things conditionally. If you do this, you get a star, if you do that you get a toy. I believe this leads them to expect something in return.
This doesn't mean we should teach our children to take responsibilities. I prefer explaining why something needs to be done and why it would be better if she helps.

M.F.B HQ said...

Hi Isil,

This is also what I worry about this, my son gets stickers at school but at home he gets nothing for doing things but its hard to get him to do stuff.

I have discussed with my husband getting him to do extra things for pocket money eg. gardening, help to wash car, etc but he needs to do his bed and other things that he should be doing in his day to day for no reward.

But its hard and for different children and parents some things work and some dont... so I say do what suits you and your kids! ;)

Hope your way works out for your family, parenting is such a hard job!

Monica xx


Nicki Cawood said...

Anon - that is kind of what I am trying to avoid, Kieran thinking Mummy & Daddy have a money tree (oh I wish!).
Thanks for reading,
Nicki x

Nicki Cawood said...

Hi Isil.
Never worry about disagreeing with me, if I don't like it - I can lump it :p
We all parent differently, we all do things the way they work best for our own and in essence I agree with you actually. Yes, children should do as they are told, follow rules, be confident in trying new things on their own and most importantly I believe WANT to help and take an interest in their own things and their own home, and by and large, Kieran does. The jobs he has to do, he does because they are his toys, his bed that needs making etc. We don't approach this in the way of "Do this and you can have this". Like all boys, Kieran wants things, toys, magazines, whatever the latest fad with his school friends are. I balk at handing over pocket money "just because" each week, this way if he does the things he should be doing, he can "earn" his pocket money. It's worth noting he was doing small tasks before we introduced this, so it hasn't been introduced as a way to MAKE him do things. I hope that makes sense?

Similar systems are in play at school, headteachers certificates, house/team points for being "good" and finishing work - what we do isn't much different really.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment :)

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