Another dudedad, who has small children, suggested to me this past winter that they had created a reward system at home for good behavior...a means to offset the need to discipline. Apparently there were having great success, so I my wife and I decided to give it a try. It's working pretty well so we wanted to pass along!
We wanted to give our kids a physical, auditory, and visual satisfaction with each reward, but we didn't have a vessel that we could think of that would show them their progress over time, using coins. They're also still a little too young to have a sense of money (probably our fault), so we pondered alternatives.
We ended up choosing cork jars. Both the corks, and the jars, were on-hand thanks to my crafty spouse.
The first step was to create a list of things they could do to earn corks. For us it was:
Most of these are now regularly accomplished, and have become the norm, so we search for, and stay conscious of, additional opportunities to have them earn.
Last weekend, we hosted some folks, and Holly (10) helped me for 2hrs during setup. She even said she just wanted to help, and didn't ask for a reward, but she deserved it.
Once they've accumulated 50 corks, they get something "big," and we'll come up with a list of options that they can choose from. They don't have to share their payout with each other, but they have.
We've only been through a couple rounds with this, but so far, we're very happy with the change we've seen in their level of contribution around the house, and to what seems like an interest and pride in achieving some result as a part of an accomplishment.
We're not counting the amount of times we have to discipline, but it feels like that's also been reduced. Needless to say, we're big fans of this idea!!!