This post is sponsored by COIT.com, but all opinions belong to Thrift Diving.
All summer I’ve struggled with “Mom Guilt.”
I remember when I used to be a patient mom. I’d talk sweetly to my kids, I wouldn’t fuss at them, and I didn’t tell them to “go away” when they “interrupted” me.
But life had gotten sooo busy, and I started letting my kids watch more and more electronics, letting YouTube babysit the sweet boys that I should have been nurturing.
Instead, they’d get hours and hours of screen time, especially over this past summer. It’s a wonder their brains didn’t turn to mush! (Click here to see just how damaging excess screen time is for young kids!!).
And when they wouldn’t listen, my stress levels exploded, as did my voice.
I’m not proud to admit it. But at least I’m brave enough to take responsibility and “Mom” enough to know when it’s time to make a change.
I knew that we needed a major overhaul in this household, with lots of structure and guidelines, and it was going to be up to me to make it happen.
Plus, I missed seeing my little boys (ages 10, 6, and 4) being kids! Those days when they’d play nicely with each other, build LEGOS, and build forts from the sofa cushions. I didn’t want those days lost forever.
So I put my DIY skillz to good use with this DIY project.
Let me introduce you to The Penny Method. 🙂
Bye-bye, Mom Guilt! Hello, happy home!
Recently I had downloaded this awesome checklist from COIT.com for parents to unground their kids.
It reminded me of the behavior system I used to do with my boys a couple years ago called The Penny Method.
This checklist along with a recent conversation with a friend were just the catalysts I needed to start up The Penny Method again to get my kids to listen better, to limit their electronics, and to teach them about responsible (and may accountability, too?).
We needed some structure again!
(And I couldn’t stand the mom guilt of getting frustration with my kids and plopping them in front of screens for hours!).
So here’s what you need to make your own Penny Board to get your kids to listen, to limit their electronics, and to get them ungrounded when they misbehave!
How the Penny Method Works!
Before I get into how to make a penny board and checklist, let me explain to you how The Penny Method works. Trust me–your kids won’t know what hit ’em!
- Give each kid 5 pennies every day to hang on the penny board.
- If they have good behavior–great! They get to keep their pennies all day. If they misbehave, don’t listen, hit their brother, etc., they lose a penny for each bad behavior.
- At the end of the day, they get to use their remaining pennies to “buy” electronics time. They can use a max of three pennies for 1 hour (essentially, 20 minutes for each penny).
- They may use 1-2 pennies per day for a special treat (lollipop or some other treat).
- If they want to save up their pennies for a special treat, like going to the movies or something, they can save them in the “Bank” section. But by saving up their pennies, that means they’d have to forego buying daily electronics time or treats. It’s up to them to keep their pennies and decide what to do with them. Pretty “tricky” parenting, huh? 😉
You could easily substitute the pennies for quarters, dimes, nickels–heck, even dollars, for older kids! But the pennies have always worked well for my kids and their familiar with using pennies.
But the concept is the same:
You must have good behavior in order to “buy” your favorite things and favorite activities. And if you choose to, you can save up your pennies in order to “buy” other favorite activities, like a trip to the movies, having friends over, etc. But by saving up your pennies, it means they may not be able to have their daily electronics time, etc. They have to “budget” how they spend their pennies. But watch out! They better have good behavior or else they can lose those pennies!
What Happens When They Lose Pennies?
Well….no pennies, no electronics.
No pennies, no treats.
No money, can’t buy nothin‘.
But here’s where it gets interesting.
Using the COIT checklist for “How to Get Ungrounded” the kids can check off chores on the list to earn back pennies!
One chore equals one penny earned back.
If your kid needs 3 pennies to play 1 hour of video games, well, then they’ll be cleaning toilets, taking out the trash, and whatever else on this cool checklist! 🙂
The checklist has everything from bedroom chores….bathroom chores…and much more.
I’ve got mine framed and hanging under the penny board so the kids know that there are the things they may get the opportunity to pick from if they don’t have any pennies at the end of the day.
And you know kids…..they hate doing chores, for the most part! LOL
The most magical thing happens: they listen.
The system works, my friends!!
So now that you understand the concept, here’s how you make your own penny board for The Penny Method!
Go Grab These Materials
- COIT Get Ungrounded Checklist (download it free)
- Magnetic SPONTAN board from Ikea
- Alphabet stickers or stencils
- Shiny pennies
- Glue gun
- Washi tape
- Thrifted picture frame
First, print out this free COIT “Get Ungrounded” Checklist.
I had found a thrifted frame for a few bucks at my favorite thrift store.
My goal was to keep a clean copy in the frame. You’ve seen those Pinterest crafts where you can make an erase board from a picture frame, right?
With the printable inside, I can use dry erase markers to check out the chores for kids to do.
LOL, I added my own name, because you know Mommies need structure and discipline, too, right?! 😉
Down the left side, add the following:
It should look similar to this:
I found some magnets from Home Depot (a pack of 40), for a few dollars.
You’ll want to pull your glue gun out for this! 🙂
I didn’t want yucky old pennies, so I picked out the shiny, pretty ones from my money jar.
I know….I know….we shouldn’t “deface” our nation’s money, but for the sake of kids who listen, we can make this one exception, right?? 😉 Plus, if you pull hard enough, the glue will come off. No harm done.
I put a dab of hot glue on each magnet. But you have to make sure you glue the magnet on quickly or else the glue dries sooo fast! Then you’ll have lopsided magnet pennies. 🙂
Press it for a second and it should stick instantly!
I did about 25 pennies since each kid will need 5. It’s good to have some extras on hand.
Using the washi tape, I created sections on the penny board.
With the sections, I can add pennies to each person’s section each morning (we just reuse the same pennies). Each day start, all the pennies get moved up to the “Earned” box (but you’ll need extras if your kid is saving up for something special in the “Bank”).
The morning I snapped this picture, you can see that one of my sons was already starting off on the wrong foot! :). He had started that morning off badly and hubby took away all of his pennies and wouldn’t let him earn them back!
The next day, my son learned that he better tread carefully, because those pennies are too precious to lose since they translate into electronics time, snacks, and whatever other treats he’s looking for!
I can’t begin to tell you how relieved I feel now that we’re doing The Penny Method again (with a new and improved penny board!).
Now….I don’t just let my kids sit mindlessly on electronics. They can “buy” one hour, and then that’s it. The timer goes off and they’re done.
Now….I don’t have to scream and shout to get them to do what I ask. I simply ask….ask once more….then threaten to take a penny away. And boy, they move their butts fast!! 🙂
It’s amazing how just having a system in place makes everything parenting soooooo much easier (and it’s healthier for them, too!).
Other Helpful Checklists!
Before you go, be sure to check out COIT’s other helpful checklists, too!
Do you have kids? How do you get your kids to listen? Do they spend too much time on electronics, too?
Make your own Penny Board, and be sure to download your free COIT Ungrounded Checklist here, and let me know how The Penny Method and checklist work for you!