Parenting is yelling
“You just had a snack!” over and over, until you give in and throw them another snack.
If you have little people, the word ‘snack’ is often enough to bring chills down your exhausted spine. Even more so since lockdown. I mean seriously, how can little people eat so much?!?!
At the beginning of all of this, my sister in law told me about this brilliant idea they had implemented in their house with their 3 children. It was a system to help combat the mess of having 3 children at home all day every day, as well as the constant cries for snacks.
It was too good not to share, so let me give you the low down!
Introducing “The Tuckshop”
Basically, the system revolves around your children earning money through chores, in order to pay for their snacks. This may seem a little harsh to some, but we are in a pandemic with our children at home with us 24/7, so desperate times!
We put about £2 worth of 1p-20p coins into a jar with bleach, to make sure the coins were clean before we used them.
I organised my snack supplies into 3 price groups:
- Free – 2 pence (e.g. water, some fruit, veggie sticks, hummus)
- 5 pence – 10 pence (e.g. YoYo bars, muesli bars)
- 20 pence – 25 pence (e.g. crisps, chocolate)
My children receive 2p-5p for doing things like:
- staying in bed until the sun comes up
- getting dressed
- making their beds
- setting the table for meal times and cleaning up
- tidying up
- playing nicely (yes, I have to bribe my kids!)
The Tuckshop’s opening hours are between 10:00am-10:30am and 3:00pm-3:30pm. The kids count their money and work out how much they have and what they can buy with their money. I have a 6 and 4 year old, so they do need help, but we are 4 weeks in and they are now becoming familiar with the different coins.
I love it. It has started teaching my children about the value of money. They help tidy up and although they still ask for snacks, they don’t ask as much. If they do mention the dreaded ‘S” word before the Tuckshop is open, I just ask them what rooms need to be cleaned up and suggest they can earn a little bit more money to spend. I’ve never seen my 6 year old daughter move so fast!
Obviously you can adapt it to suit the ages of your children and your household. I think it’s important to ‘keep it real’ and note that there are some days I don’t have the energy to entertain the idea of a tuck shop. However, it has generally been something fairly easy to stick to and has worked well for us. If you are sick of being asked for snacks a million times a day, you’ve got nothing to lose, so I recommend giving this a try!
STAY SAFE, STAY WELL & STAY SANE