Duty DollarsIn order to have fun we have to get our work done!

When I stepped into my family, it was a little chaotic.  After the divorce there was a lot of guilt parenting going on, which really means the kids were running the house.  I couldn’t get my boys to do anything that resembled work let alone brush their teeth every morning and night.  The other part was that some bad habits were settling in.  Picking their noses, chewing with their mouth open, and hitting each other was common.  I was unpopular for trying to get them to do the right things.  We all were frustrated and looking for answers.

I decided that we needed something that could easily be traded in our house.  Good behaviors would be rewarded and bad behaviors would have a consequence.  Duty Dollars was born.  To start the program, and to get my boys into a routine, I would pay them six duty dollars for doing their morning list.  For the money they had to get out of bed when asked, make their bed. shower, brush their teeth, dirty towels and laundry in their baskets, breakfast dishes put away.  Don’t freak out on $6 for this just yet.  For the program to work I needed them to be excited about earning money fast.  The flip side to that is that I can take it away just as fast.  Picking your nose cost $3 – half of their morning routine.  Touching your brother cost $10.  So it is a double duty program.  You reward for great behavior and you have them “pay” for the bad decisions.  The parents don’t have to yell, you simply say “You know the rules, go and get me three dollars.”  And you know what – they do – mine run like little bunnies.  I have a child with ODD/ADHD/OCD so discipline is very difficult.  He LOVES this program.  I created the check off sheets, the rules, and the consequences so he has a clear plan of what is expected of him.

What’s the point of earning dollars if you can’t spend them right?  We count them as $.50 on the dollar.  That means that it takes $2 Duty dollars to earn one real one.  This teaches them easy math as well as the benefits of saving.  We never allow them to spend more than half of what they have saved up.  Other ways to spend that I came up with include: 15 minutes on the computer is $3, downloading any game is $5 even if it is free to me, $20 and they can take the family to the movies.  They love planning ahead, saving, and spending their dollars!

Every year they get better about doing things and leaving bad habits behind them.  At the start of every school year we have a family meeting and change the rules a little to make it a little harder for them to earn those dollars.

Sound good?  It gets better I have it available on my website for FREE!!!  Yep – download the dollars and start today with your family!  IT GETS BETTER!  All of the forms are customizable, I want you to make it work for YOUR family.  Set your own rules for earning and spending, as well as your house rules.  The link can be found on my home page under TOOL BOX in the top margin – but here is the direct link:


Please take a chance and give it a try.  It has helped my family SO much that I had to share it.  Pass it on to people that you think could use it.  All parents should give this a try, it really works.  I can’t wait to hear about your successes with it!

~ Amy Elizabeth

Photo:  These are the duty dollars that you can print off and start using with your family TODAY!