Image source: Flickr CC user pas618
Growing up, my parents were big on the family incentive system. Whenever my sister, brother, or I did something good like clear the dinner table without being asked or made our beds, we got to place a colorful sticker on the homemade board game my mom had created. Didn’t beat each other up? Another sticker was proudly placed on the board. Talked back? A giant X was put through one of the spaces and you had to start over again.
For every ten stickers we earned some sort of incentive like an ice cream cone or an extra half hour of TGIF, and if we completed the entire chart, we got to do something big like go on a family trip to Disneyland.
While some people may look at this and think my mom was bribing us into being good, I look at it as a genius motivational tool that actually worked. Raising three kids that were only four and a half years apart was an exhausting job, and anything my mom could come up with to help her maintain her sanity and make the day run smoothly was welcomed in our household.
Plus, sticker incentives – no matter how small they might be – gave us kids a sense of purpose and accomplishment. We had a goal to strive for and we wanted to see that goal through to the end.
Incentive programs still work for me in my adult life. Whether it’s a bonus at work or losing weight with a fitness program, incentives help you stay motivated and help you set up benchmarks.
With all that being said, you can implement a yearbook incentive program with your own family. A yearbook is a special item and your kids should show you through their actions that they’ve earned theirs by working for it. There are several ways you can incentivize your family – whether it’s by rewarding good grades or helping around the house – that will help motivate your kids as they work towards earning that exciting prize: a yearbook!
Start a yearbook 401K matching program – Like some companies match 401ks, you can set up a matching program for your family using school grades. Create a chart which outlines what each grade equates to in dollars. For example: Every A or their report card, your kid gets $5 toward their yearbook, for every B they earn $2, and so on and so forth.
Homemade cash-in vouchers – Instead of paying your kids a weekly or monthly allowance, create vouchers they can cash in for rewards or prizes. For example, if they rake the leaves in the front yard, they can earn a 5 point voucher, or if they ace an exam, they can earn 20 points. Then they can save them up until they have enough to cash in for a big ticket item like a yearbook.
Family book club – Why not earn a book by reading a book? Encourage your kids to unplug from their smartphones and iPads (and even Kindles) and read a good, old-fashioned book. For every book they finish (that isn’t assigned by their English teacher), have them fill out a mini book report. When they’ve completed reading 10 books, they can trade in their reports for a yearbook. Added bonus: Donate the read books to your local library or use them in a book drive to help raise money for students whose families can’t afford a yearbook.
Good deed chart – Remember those charity thermometers that used to mark how much money a charity had made and how much further they had to go? Start one in your house, but base it on time spent helping a good cause. Set a goal – whether it’s to volunteer four times at your local food bank or to raise money for a specific cause – and treat your kids to yearbooks once your goals have been met. Everyone will feel good about helping others in need!
Can you think of any other creative incentive programs to help your kids earn a yearbook? Let us know in the comments!