When our kids were much younger, we used this awesome reward system we called Daddy Bucks. It was a great tool which helped set our kids up to learn about how to be responsible.
Take a good look at the dollar bill below. You probably notice that George looks a little bit different. That’s because it is my husband. These are the Daddy Bucks we use with our kids.
You might be wondering what Daddy Bucks are. Quite simply, it is a way for our kids to earn privileges as well as money to use towards this special items she wants, but does not necessarily need. For us, this was the answer to a case of the “gimmes”.
What brought this on in our house was actually two-fold. First of all our daughter was at the age when she wanted to get things from the store. These were things I was not going to buy her just because. It was usually toys or movies that she saw as we walked through the store. Secondly, we were struggling with finding a way to get her to do the things she was suppose to do – without arguing nor having a melt down. Enter – Daddy Bucks.
The way she earns them is simple. She can get them for doing the things she should. She also earns them for doing things we do not ask her to do! We started this program when our oldest was around four years old. At that time, she did not have too many responsibilities. Yes, she had to pick up her toys, help me make her bed and even set the table. However, those are not the things she earned the Daddy Bucks for. She learned at young age that those are the things that she has to do as a part of our family.
For example, when she helps clean up the play room that her brother and sister have destroyed, she can earn $2 in daddy bucks. If she picks it up all by herself — without complaint – the price goes up to $5. So, we find tasks around the house that we want her to do and she earns money.
In addition, we are using Daddy Bucks to help her grow up. She has a blanket that she is extremely attached to. While I understand security and need to sleep with it at night, it des not need to be drug all over the house during the day. So, each day that her blanket remains in her room, she earns $3 in Daddy Bucks.
Now, on the flip side, when she is defiant or blatantly refuses to listen/behave, she is threatened with paying me Daddy Bucks. I will say that the mere mention of paying mom immediately changes the attitude and she straightens up right away. It really works well to attach a consequence to the action that is NOT Mom or Dad yelling!
So, what does she get with Daddy Bucks? In our house, the redemption for items she wants is double bucks. So, if her movie costs $15 at the store, she must have earned $30 in daddy bucks to get it. She is yet too young to want to do sleep overs and the like, but we will work those into her “budget” as she gets older. Here are some ideas:
Stay up 15 minutes late: $10
Play computer games: $5 (for 30 minutes)
Go to a friend’s house: $15
Have a sleepover: $30
If you are intrigued in starting your own daddy bucks (or whatever you wish to call them in your house), you can created your own money by heading here (select your denomination and currency from the drop down menu). Click on the yellow circle in the center of the bill and you will be connected with your own drive and can upload a photo to use in the bucks. When you are done, just hit the download button and you can print them out!
This system has truly been a lifesaver for us. It is not only teaching our daughter responsibility and things she should do to help our family, but also the importance of saving and working towards a goal, be it personal or material.
Before you go, check out our other posts to help with kids and money: