At the beginning of the school year we implemented a new discipline system. This is partly because Ben and I thought the girls are old enough to have designated jobs and tasks each day, and also because Ben has been spoiling them rotten buying them toys all summer and we thought an allowance would be a good way to teach the girls about saving for the things they want and about working hard and earning money on their own instead of begging Daddy for toys every time we go to Target.
I made a list of 10 tasks the girls are responsible for each day. When each one is completed, I put an X next to it (I laminated these with clear contact paper and use a dry erase marker). Each X is worth 1 marble. Each marble is worth $0.10. So they have the opportunity to earn $1 a day. The tricky part is that they also have a chance to earn demerits. Demerits are earned by hurting hearts (hurting someone's feelings with unkind words or actions), hurting bodies, disobeying mom or dad, whining excessively, throwing tantrums or lying. Basically all of the things the girls struggle with on a daily basis. I put a tally mark next to whatever action they did to earn their demerit, and for each tally mark they lose one marble. At the end of every day, Ben counts their X's and puts them in a jar. Then he counts their demerits and takes those marbles out. This way the girls can visualize how much they have earned. Every weekend they exchange their marbles for actual money and have the choice to either save it or buy a toy. They usually earn $4-$6 a week.
The girls take this system very seriously. They never EVER complain when I remind them to do a task and they HATE getting demerits. Sometimes I have to give Emerald a demerit for throwing a tantrum because I gave her a demerit. And sometimes I have to give her a demerit for trying to be sneaky and erasing her demerits. For every phase we're in, I have to come up with a new discipline technique that encourages good behavior and cooperation and discourages unacceptable behavior. For right now this is working amazing. I am pleasantly surprised with how effective it is and how much the girls LOVE it. They are so proud of themselves on the days they get no demerits and they love showing Daddy their charts when he gets home. This is also a good way to keep Ben involved in discipline because when they have a lot of demerits we have to tell Daddy why and he has a little talk with them and they never want to disappoint Daddy so this alone is a very good motivation for them to avoid demerits.
This is what their charts look like on a typical day. All their X's filled or missing just one or two. And anywhere between 0-6 demerits. Their goal is no demerits because completing all chores + no demerits = an extra X! They get 0 demerits and 10 X's usually 2 or 3 times a week. On a normal day they get 1-3 demerits. They are good kids but not perfect by any means! We all love this system. And now when the girls buy toys they feel amazing knowing they worked so hard for them!