Get Your Kids to Pay You!

When do your kids pick a fight? When you are on the phone, in the car, or at a store? No matter the answer let’s suffice it to say that it is never at a “good” time. And I don’t know about you, but playing referee is about as fun to me as cleaning a toilet!

Love & Logic® Parenting teaches that you love your kids enough to set enforceable limits and then allow them to experience the consequences of their decision. So when my kids get to arguing I love to put this principle into action…and make a little money too!

Here’s how it works… when my kids get to arguing in the back set of the car I simply say, with a big smile on my face (it’s payday for me!), “I charge $1.00 per minute to listen to listen to yelling in the car and an extra $1.00 for every punch I see in the rear view mirror.”

The first time I said this they both stopped and snickered as if they didn’t believe I would actually make them pay. The second time they started the begging “We will stop. Please don’t make us pay. Can we have a second chance?” It took a few times of consistently following through (those are important words) to get them to realize that it was no joke and that their money was mine when we got home.

To further drive the point home, my kids have to record in a checkbook register, every penny that leaves their wallet. We use it as a way for them to reflect on how they spend their money so they can make wise economic choices. So when we get home and they pay me the fine, they must include an entry that is listed as “Fine” and the amount in their respective registers. It is a subtle reminder every time they go to the register to record an income or other expense, that they wasted money on fighting!

Does that mean my kids don’t ever fight in the car? Heavens no, they are still kids after all, but when they hear me begin my sentence “I charge…” they usually stop before I get out the next word. I am glad they are learning a lesson about consequences, but secretly I miss the pocket change. 🙂


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