Sunday 2 March 2014


Children's Reward System (Updated)

Piggybank with tokens to save up unused smileys :-)
The introduction of the bonus system went well and the tasks quickly expanded. With the addition of tasks, we could no longer fit them onto the board.  We also need an easy solution for J to carry over his rewards.
The only changes are including a piggybank for saving up his rewards and including only main category on Chore Board, with specific tasks for J listed separately on paper instead.
We have progressed from here to here, while still keeping the system very simple. The updates are highlighted in red below.

In this way, adding of tasks is not a problem, and the rewards system still works, even when new tasks are added.

1. 1 Chore Board
2. A bag of magnetic smileys (about 90 pieces)
3. 1 specific task list
4. 1 Piggybank
5. 1 container containing tokens (I took it from the 4-in-a-line game)


1. State only main categories on Chore Board

The following are our main categories:

1. Own Chores
2. Family Chores
3. Help Others
4. Classes
5. Homework
6. Courtesy

2. Make a detailed task list on paper

On a piece of paper list the chores and add to them as your your child gain independence and can do more things by himself. Our specific task list has expanded and currently looks like this:

1. Own Chores

Any of the below tasks will earn him 1 smiley under "Own Chores" on the Chore Board:

1. Get dressed
2. Brush teeth self
3. Make own bed
4. Bring dirty dishes to the kitchen sink
5. Fold own clothes and put them in the respective wardrobe

2. Family Chores

Any of the below tasks will earn him 1 smiley under "Family Chores" on the Chore Board:

1. Set table
2. Help Mommy prepare meals
3. Help Mommy with a household chore
4. Help Daddy clean up the basement

3. Help Others

Help Others means community work. It is any tasks that are not for self or family, but for others. Any of the below tasks will earn him 1 smiley under "Help Others" on the Chore Board:

1. Serve his guests drinks and food (e.g. during his birthday party)

2. Befriend a new child and help him around kindergarten (this is a good time, as there are many new children in his class)

3. Help a new child in class find new friends

4. Help to serve food at the old folks home or at the soup kitchen (we haven't started yet, but plan to next month every Thursday, where I will take him out of kindergarten for volunteer work. My Singaporean friends will be alarmed that I am taking my child out of kindie for a day. But it is because in the Danish kindergarten, there is no curriculum, unlike in Singapore. J does not learn anything academic, but playing. So he will not be missing out on anything.)

4. Classes

Any of the below tasks will earn him 1 smiley under "Classes" on the Chore Board:

1. Be focus, serious and do his best at Chinese class
2. Be focus, serious and do his best at piano class
3. Be focus, serious and do his best at swimming class
4. Be focus, serious and do his best at football class

5. Homework

Any of the below tasks will earn him 1 smiley under "Homework" on the Chore Board:

1. Practice piano
2. Write Chinese
3. Read Chinese
4. Complete Maths homework with focus and seriousness
5. Do Montessori homework with focus and seriousness

6. Courtesy

Any of the below tasks will earn him 1 smiley under "Courtesy" on the Chore Board:

1. Greet teacher good morning and say his/her name.
2. Say thank you to teacher after the class and say his/her name

2. Explain how it works

Each week...

1. For every task he does or quality he exhibits, he gets 1 smiley.

2. For every task or quality he does without Mommy's prompting, he gets 2 smileys.

3. For every task he does within time allocation, he gets 1 additional smiley.

4. At the end of the week, tally up the smileys (an opportunity to teach or practice addition) and give the rewards.

5. Unused smileys that J would like to save will be converted into the equal number of tokens for him to drop into piggybank (Remember too to let your child convert and count the tokens himself).

6. Start over the following week

3. Explain the rewards

Design the rewards with your child. Here is how we have designed the rewards. We will fine-tune along the way:

1. Every 1 smiley = 5 minutes on the iPad (capped at 1 hour each per week)

2. Every 10 smileys = 1 bowl of yogurt

3. Every 20 smileys = 1 ice-cream (capped at 1 per week)

4. Every 30 smileys = 1 coin ride (the kind at shopping centre where you drop a coin and the car moves)

5. Every 40 smileys = Choose something costing 10 DKK at Tiger

6. Every 50 smileys = Disney Show

Addtional Information:

Here is a good website with chores appropriate for different ages:

So far J has been very disciplined, and did not ask to exchange his smileys for any of the unhealthy stuff (chocolates, ice-cream, cheese sticks, etc.). He also has not asked for time on iPad or Disney Show. He only asked for yogurt, saying that that is healthy choice. I am not sure how long this will last, but I will enjoy while it does.

On Becoming Childwise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam

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