Poker Chips and Parenting.. All in!

When the hubby and I were younger we didn’t have a lot of money to delegate for allowances. I bought a set of cheap poker chips and used them to pay my boys. I set up a chore chart and reward list. Obviously some chores were worth more then others. (Example: Take out trash – 1 chip, cut grass – 3 chips). Each son was assigned a color, though they could pay each other with chips as well.

They could use their chips to purchase “control of the remote” for blocks of time. 15 min per chip. They could also cash in chips for opportunities.. Rides to Mall or friends house. Choice of video rental for weekend. Pick a meal of their choice off the weekly menu (since those were what I had available) Hey they fell for it!

I found it ended arguing. They worked together to earn. The oldest one saved them and cashed in for money (.25 each) at the end of the week, while the younger two would play games and be chipless on the weekends. Now they are older they save and spend money much the same.. Ironic! May even be a good lesson in saving had I thought of it.

When they were out of chips they read or went outside to play. They begged to do chores especially if there was a new game in the house. They felt as though they had more control over their rules. It worked well until they turned 14, getting a teen to do anything is another story!!


  1. Hi, this is Heather stopping by from A Bloggy Mom BlogHop!

    I’ll be back again real soon, but in the meantime please come visit my blog too!


  2. This is a FABULOUS idea. My hubs and I talk about hat we are going to do later when our kids are ready to pitch in with the chores. I don’t feel that paying them $ for chores is right, bc then they will only do the ones that pay the most, or have the quickest payoff. (speaking as the kid who did that)
    But this is a great alternative! Thanks for the idea!
    ps I am now a follower from TBH

  3. Okay – where is your follow button? I guess I will just follow you on Networked Blogs… 🙂

  4. I would have definitely used this idea when my kids were little. It’s a BRILLIANT way to get them doing chores etc without spending a fortune on allowance. Unfortunately, I think I’m too late now to start it … at 19 & 17 years of age, I think they wouldn’t cut the lawn for 3 poker chips.