As we considered motivational techniques, we discussed the area of allowances, but my husband and I disagreed about how allowances should be used. He felt that the children should not be paid for doing chores that they have to do simply because they live in our home. (There is a larger discussion of this issue in chapter 8, which covers the subject of money.) We came up with the idea of “The Field Beans” as a middle ground.
The Field Beans
To earn 10 beans a day, do these things:
1. Teeth, wash, dress, hair neat—without being told
2. Table and kitchen helper—setting, clearing
3. Morning chore/room pickup
4. Do all schoolwork, homework, piano
5. Keep room neat and clean (Includes UNDER beds and furniture)
6. Keep laundry off floor/Put away clean laundry when asked
7. Have a quiet time: prayer and reading
8. Afternoon/evening pickup of house and bedroom
9. Be kind to others at all times
10. Have a pleasant attitude
11. PE training with Dad for extra bean
Each bean = 5 cents. If you earn all 10, you earn 50 cents per day. If you earn 50 cents per day, Monday through Saturday, you earn 3 dollars for the week. (We purposely exclude Sunday.) You lose one bean for each task you omit per day.
Your money: 10 percent goes to church; 10 percent goes to savings; you keep the rest.
We labeled sections of an egg carton with each child’s name. The top cup of the carton was filled with ten beans. As each bean was “earned,” it was moved to the bottom cup to be tallied and recorded by that day’s bean counter.
This was a very motivating system for my growing children. They were at the ages that they wanted to have some money of their own. This gave them money, but it was tied to very specific expectations. With this system, the parents can change the expectations as the need arises, and they can work on attitudes, such as unkindness or harsh talk to one another. When children know they will lose a bean for being rude to a younger sibling, they will often think twice.
Life Skills For Kids: Equipping Your Child For The Real World
by Christine M. Field
I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. ~ 3 John 4