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Parenting Chips

The Parenting chip system is an alternative positive parenting choice for families.

First and foremost I am a wife and I am a mother. I have been married for 11 years and my children are aged between 9 and 13. My Husband works a drive-in drive-out roster and has done for many years now. We started to find that the kids had to learn different sets of routines, rules and punishments when Dad was home or when he was away. This system started as a way that we could balance out an accurate representation of their behaviours on a weekly basis. We could start to keep a track on what our kids are up to so they didn't play us against each other. We could tell Dad on the phone when he had to stay at work so that he would stay in the loop. This also meant that the kids wouldn't be put in the corner by Mum and sent to their room by Dad' they had the same punishment every time.

I was never given any pocket money when I was growing up but my husband earned money each week for doing menial chores around the house for his Mum. We both didn't like the Idea of giving the kids money for doing things that they should be doing to help around the house anyway. So we knew that we had to find an alternative. I read many parenting books and searched many blogs and face book pages finding a wide range of interesting parenting strategies. Slowly we started to developed what we now call the parenting chips system and a friend suggested that I share the idea with the world. 

The parenting chip system is different for every family but there are a few basics that are the same. I will give you a summary but will go into more details below. Each child has 50 chips at the start of the week, every time that they misbehave they lose a chip (or sometimes more than one) which they cannot get back. When they do the opposite or do something nice without being told they earn blue chips, this is the equivalent of a pat on the back. If they do something that gives you a proud parent moment you can give them a white chip. It doesn't matter if the kids are home or away we can chip them for something and then talk about it later. When the kids go to other family members houses they also know to chip our kids so we can talk to them about it later. 

At the end of the week, as a family we sit together and count the chips that we have left in the chips box for each child. The chips that are left gets converted into money values. The value of the chips have been preset for each child. This money either gets put in the bank, or the child gets money in their hand. Sometimes a bit of both (I have always told them that half should be going into the bank for future spendings).  

What you choose to chip your kids for or reward for varies greatly depending on what you consider normal behaviour for your child. As an example; If your child repeatedly leaves their towel on the floor then you could chip the child once for the first time, two for the second and so on until they start consistently putting the towel where it is meant to be placed. Then you could reward them after a while as a thanks. 

Every household is different and we have different expectations from our children than you would have with yours which is a good thing. This is something that helped us find a balance in our parenting and I hope that it helps you. Feel free to share your Parenting stories by contacting me below. 

The Buy-in

Each Child has 50 coloured chips at the start of the week. 

They have the option of earning up to 15 Blue chips (reward Chips).

They also have the option to earn 2 Super special white chips per week.

The value of each coloured chip depends on the age of the child. 

(I have three children 9-13 and

Miss 9 year old has 10 cents per chip totalling $5,

Miss 11 year old has 20 cents per chip totalling $10

and Mr 13 year old has 30 cents per chip totalling $15)

The Value of each individual Blue chip is the same as a 'Well done' / 'Pat on the back' to the child but if you earn the highest amount for the week (if there are siblings), or reached 10 then the blues can be exchanged for a white chip.

The Value of a white chip is A small gift the next time you go shopping or one-on-one time with parent.

(We tend to cap the gift price at $25 but if the kids wants to have a hot chocolate at a cafe then we are just as happy to do that)

Once you have all your money sorted you need to get into the game. Every household is different and this is only a guideline...

Reasons to be chipped...

Bad attitude (Minimum 1 chip)

Showing disrespect for self, a parent or elder, Back-chatting, Lying, not listening, interrupting, Using Inappropriate Language, Arguing (arguing and debating is different), Ignoring parent or guardian, speaking in a mean tone or not doing what's been asked, not answering when spoken to.

Breaking the house rules (Minimum 2 chips)

Messy Room, Laundry on the floor, Home after curfew, Going on devices before homework is finished, Not cleaning up after making a mess, Toys in the lounge (or just not put away in general at bed time), Lunch box left in school bag, Going out without telling anyone or leaving a note, Not doing homework, getting up after bed time, not being ready for bed at bed time, Not putting clothes away in a timely manner, Not doing high Five.

Common sense

Using something that's not yours without asking, Running across the road without looking, Picking on sibling.

Reasons to get a reward chip...

These are not all the time - just encouragement to continue.

The opposite of anything they can be chipped for, Helping out, Putting the bin out, extra cleaning, yard work, Making cuppas, Making dinner, setting the table, vacuuming, using nice words, being polite, looking after yourself.

Reason to get a white chip... 

Doing something really, really, really Nice for someone else. Going above and beyond to help others,Finishing something to the best of their ability and there being a Proud Parent Moment because of it.

Check or Bet

End of the week

Or even end of the Day. - The nuts and bolts are you count all the chips that are left over and you write down the amounts for each child.

It is more than just adding up the numbers though, it is a moment of reflection for the parent/s and child/ren.

I like to do the chip count at the end of the week after our Sunday dinner.Things have normally calmed down and during dinner we talk about our weeks. In a busy world we don't always have time to all sit together at dinner time but on Sunday it is important. As a parent we ask the question, "Do you think that the number of chips reflects your attitudes and actions this past week?" This opens more discussions and debate in a calm and encouraging environment. I like it when the kids encourage each other to open up about what they are thinking. This can lead in to differences in opinion without being told off. Also if more need to be taken/or added, this is the best time to agree on numbers.

Do you want to Join in as a Chipper?

Based in western Australia, the Chippers are a group of families who are trialling the chip system in their homes.

These families have special access to articles about alternative parenting. They join a group of like minded families in their area and online to talk about how they are going. Keeping an open mind Mums and Dads can nut out their concerns. 

Registrations are open for a five week program starting in February. 

Contact Dianna for more information. 

Do you have more questions?

Contact me and I will get back to you.

Or subscribe and you will hear about things as they come up.

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