Don’t Just Give. Reward!

Don’t Just Give. Reward!

- in 2014 Editions

Last Spring C, our 5 year old, expressed an interest in getting a basketball hoop for him and his younger brother. I was 100% on board with the idea — anything to get them outside after being cooped up all winter!

I was ready to go buy them one that afternoon, but the idea of buying them something just because they wanted it didn’t feel right.

Enter life lesson: Work hard, get rewarded.

Rather than just giving them the basketball hoop, which would have made my life easier, I decided to make them earn it via “The Helping Family & Doing Good Things Chart,” so cleverly named by C.  He got to choose most of the items that would appear on the chart, things like clear dishes after dinner, clean up toys, fold laundry, be a good listener, tell someone they did a good job, and make someone feel better when they are sad. I added a few of my own like putting on nice clothes for church with NO TEARS.

Once our list for the Helping Family & Doing Good Things Chart was complete I asked C how many check marks he thought would be worthy of the basketball hoop. I was hoping he’d say something in the twenty range but assumed he’d be more in the ten to fifteen range.

Nope. Way off! He suggested SIXTY-ONE!

This was going to take longer than I thought! BUT, I didn’t reduce the number. We went with good ol’ sixty-one!

It took him almost 3 months to complete. Three long months of cleaning, sharing, and wearing nice clothes one day a week. But he finished it and was so proud of himself.


The day that basketball hoop arrived was a good one. He called dad at work immediately, then ran over to our neighbor’s to tell them. He even begged me to open the box so that he could lay out all the pieces so that dad could put it together as soon as he got home from work.



The Helping Family & Doing Good Things Chart was (get ready for it…) a slam dunk!! This certainly won’t be it’s only appearance.

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