We are on vacation right now with some of my closest friends, and my friend, Kelsey, came up with a fabulous reward system while on vacations. Vacations can be amazing, but they bring a new set of challenges. Kids are still kids. I have said, “Moms don’t get vacations or sick days.” It is something I never really pondered before I was a mom. Now, I am keenly aware. While a trip provides a lot of fun and excitement, it also provides a lack of schedule, later nights, more treats, and a heightened hyper mode. With those things can come more melt downs, crashes and whiny behaviors. It is a good idea to anticipate some of that and get a system in place to motivate your kids to stay on the path you have been training in them. I am planning on sharing with you about our trip at a later date, so today I just wanted to focus on this reward system that will help entice kids to behave well. As you can tell from the featured picture, it is a reward based on money. Parents often treat their kids to a lot of things when on vacation. You might be a family that likes special activities while away. You might be a souvenir family that loves to take kids into a shop and let them pick out their own items. There might be a special treat place for smoothies, ice cream or candy. Our kids may often feel entitled to these extras. This isn’t the best attitude for our children to learn. Therefore, the idea behind this reward system is that the kids get to start out with a roll of quarters. I am keeping these quarters in my possession for my kids since they are young, and I’m afraid they would lose them. However, I have their names written on each roll. At the end of the week, our kids get to spend how ever much money they have left on the treat of their choice.
We are in Cannon Beach, OR. There is a candy shop here called “Bruce’s Candy Kitchen.” It doesn’t get better than Bruce’s for feeling like you have stepped out of reality and into “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” This place has it all – the classic candy you’ll find nowhere else, homemade chocolates, taffy pulled at the window, dipped carmel apples and a bunch of modern day candy (which doesn’t compare, in my opinion). This is where we will come to spend their reward. They are super motivated by the idea of spending their money on delectable goodies from this shop.
So, they each have a roll of quarter assigned to them. What now?
We were ready to leave the house when the car was packed, lattes were in position and the quarters were ready.
We wanted to start the trip off right, so the game began at the beginning of travel. We explained that the quarters were theirs to spend at an amazing candy store in Cannon Beach. They had $10 in quarters each to spend. However, if there was whining, crying, disobeying or any other un-desirable behavior throughout the trip, a quarter would be taken away. However, they could also earn quarters back by doing something that really stands out as going above and beyond what was expected of them. It worked really well. They all had some coins taken away and a few added back into the mix. We didn’t do just one visit to Bruce’s Candy Kitchen, but after a couple days I could tell they wouldn’t lose all their money, so we let them spend a little here and a little there with one big shopping day on the final day of the trip.
Here are my kids with our traveling companions and one of our closest friends. Their mom, kelsey, was the originator of the quarter reward system idea.