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Oct
24

Get Your Tickets

By

My children are obsessed with electronics, which is completely understandable in a digital world. Most of us carry powerful computers masquerading as phones in our pocket. Everywhere you look are screens, screens, and more screens. Even billboards are digital now. You know everyone who says they have to work or go into the office are really saying, ‘I’m going to go stare at a screen for eight hours.’ Even as a stay-at-home-mom, I am staring at a screen right now. The difference between us parents and the children is we can have some semblance of self-control, our children not so much. Enter tickets to earn electronics.

Go to Walmart (or any other store that sells offices supplies) and find the raffle ticket rolls. I got one roll per child. Alex gets red, Bri gets blue, and Rick gets white. I almost attempted some convoluted method of ticket distribution but decided it was better for all involved if we kept the ticket system simple. I like my sanity, what can I say? So the system is simple:

Do something right and get a ticket.

Go above and beyond and get a ticket.

Do what you are supposed to do and get a ticket.

A ticket gives you 10 minutes of electronic time.

The kids choice of which electronic to spend their time on: iPad, TV, video games, etc.

We do not take away tickets for bad behavior. The only negative from this system is if you don’t do it right, you don’t get a ticket.

That’s it. Simple. We don’t allow our kids electronics on school nights. We want this to be time for homework, chores, playing, and reading, so on Friday night after dinner the kids can start using their tickets. Once they are out of tickets, they are done with tickets for the weekend. It’s our money system. And my kids are going to be hurting this weekend because they have not done their chores properly at all this week and have barely earned any tickets. Their problem, not mine. They had plenty of opportunities to be responsible and earn tickets.

Here are reasons my kids can earn a ticket:

They put their lunchbox and backpack away.

They did their normal daily chore right, without being told.

Their room was clean.

They didn’t leave their stuff downstairs.

They picked up after themselves.

They cleaned something without being told.

They helped each other.

They finished their homework.

They are passing all their classes with no low graded assignments.

I caught them doing something nice.

 

The options are endless for them to earn hours and hours of electronics. But it’s up to them to take the initiative and earn their favorite free time activities.

Now recently, I went to do a load of my daughters’ laundry and was annoyed to find I couldn’t walk into the laundry room without stepping on stuff. Clothes, shoes, and other random stuff was all over my beautiful laundry room floor. I spent a lot of money at Ikea to get the laundry room of my dreams and my kids were messing it up! On top of that, in the laundry basket I had to dig out hangers, books, toys, and clean folded clothes just to find the dirty clothes to put in the wash. I had enough. Now my kiddos have to wash their own clothes between Friday and Sunday. They have to wash, dry, fold and put away their own laundry and it costs them two tickets for the use of my dream laundry room. They think I am mean, but I don’t care. They were mean to my favorite room, and I was done. This wasn’t a one-time offense, this was a constant daily struggle. Now I can walk into my laundry room and walk on the floor, not stuff.

Parents have many jobs as a parent. The most prevalent is teaching your children to be an asset to society and not a drain on society. Moms, we need to make our children so independent that we put ourselves out of a job. Because someday our children are going to be all grown up and they are going to need to take care of themselves. That’s the job, to teach our kids to take care of themselves. Hopefully having to earn their electronics, and pay for the privilege of using my laundry room, will help my kids be a step closer to becoming independent children who will become independent adults.

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