Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Allowance

Several weeks ago, we started giving Lliam an allowance. He gets four quarters per week. He proudly places each coin into his tootsie roll piggy bank, which used to belong to my sister when we were kids. Every time he cleans all his toys from the downstairs, he gets another quarter.

I also created a "good boy" chart for Lliam, where he gets a sticker for good behaviors like going to bed smoothly and clearing the table. When he accrues 5 stickers, he gets to play video games or watch TV. This has resulted in an amazing turn-around at bedtime. Instead of 30 minutes of teeth-pulling, I simply ask Lliam to go to bed smoothly, and he is in his pajamas with his teeth brushed instantly.

Lliam likes to dump all of his quarters out every couple of days and count them. It has been fun explaining to him how many quarters it takes to make a dollar, and now he's getting the hang of putting his quarters into stacks of four and counting out the dollars. Today, he counted $5.50. I asked him if he wanted to spend his money on toys, or save it up for something bigger. Not surprisingly, he wanted to get something right away.

I took Lliam to target, pointed him at the toy section and let him lead the way. He immediately passed the aisles with anything resembling pink or purple, and zoned in on a fancy-looking RC car set. This, he assured me, was what he wanted. I pointed at the price tag and asked him to read it out. "44", he said. "That's right, 44 dollars and 89 cents," I replied. "Do you have enough money to buy that?" Lliam responded in a surprisingly collected tone: "no." We went through this exercise several times until we got down to something that was $12.

Lliam's patience seemed to be wearing a bit thin, so I pointed out a NASCAR model that was $5. He immediately wanted to buy it. I urged him to look at the large selection of Hot Wheels before making a quick decision. He then methodically examined the miniature cars and several other aisles of toys before settling on a set of 5 Hot Wheels with off-road tires for $5.

Lliam took his purchase to the cashier and handed her the money, three $1 bills and 8 quarters. He was very proud of his purchase and spent an hour or two happily driving his new cars around the living room.

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