Oh man have I heard backlash and praise on this one. A complete 50/50 split on how people feel about me making my kids pay for entrance into a movie..in our living room.
This sounds crazy, I know. Hear me out. This has been the most ingenious thing concocted in our home. Now, some parents will toss their kids a quarter for doing some extra things around the house, or maybe take them to the store. Maybe it is just expected of the kids and they are disgruntled about doing these house duties. Well we nipped that in the butt this year, and it has been EPIC.
They learn the value of hard work this way, and they have learned a ton of other fun lessons too. How in the world do my kids pay for this movie you are probably wondering? Tickets. Yep, they pay for their weekly movie night with all the bells and whistles, with tickets.
I bought a big ole roll of raffle tickets and they earn them doing their chores and helping out around the house.
While my system may receive backlash, (I have literally heard “they make you do CHORES to watch a family movie”), it has been astounding for us!
Why do we do this?
My kids have learned they are responsible for their own person. This entails their room, their clothes, their personal items and hygiene. B.F. Skinner, a famous psychologist, explained in his theory how reinforcement increases the likelihood of behavior. In our home we apply his psychological theory in all we do.
These kiddos have daily chores, once completed they receive an automatic 2 tickets. Then they can pull popsicle sticks with random chores listed and the amount of tickets their worth. The deal? They pull the stick, they do the chore no questions asked.
How much is the movie you are wondering? Well..that depends. Every Thursday night we tell them the price of the movie so they can budget. Then Friday evening they count their tickets and budget out their “concession stand” tickets.
They could totally choose not to go, but let me tell you..my kids LOVE it! Their faces light up seeing what fun snacks their father and I have conjured up. The movie that is selected as the “featured film” has them super excited! Then they have a whole new appreciation for the movie because they earned it.
It works for us! It may not work for everyone, but we love it!
Just today I was told by someone I was a ‘lazy authoritative parent’ because my kids do chores and they are not my maids. Well, here is my thoughts, I have 5 kids and I am not THEIR maid, I am their mother. My job is to teach them and help them grow into successful, functional, happy adults. Not clean up after them 24/7. They make a mess, they clean it up. They live here, they can help take care of shared living space.
So calm down Karen, I am not having my kids scrub my bathroom floor and do my laundry, but yes they absolutely WILL help out around our general living area BECAUSE THEY LIVE HERE. Then because they choose to help out, they get rewarded doing something they absolutely love.
So yes, my kids do chores. Yes my kids PAY THEIR HARD EARNED TICKETS for an AWESOME movie event we throw every week in our house, and they have a blast.