Token Economies for your kids


A token economy is a reward system. The idea is that you have some physical item that can be handed to your child that has some value. The child can see something tangible as a reward for their behavior. There are several key components to using a token economy. It must be physical. If they can’t touch it they are being asked to understand an abstract concept that they might not be ready to understand. It should be interesting. Visual or physical appeal increases the apparent value. They must be responsible for safeguarding it. They must be able to spend it for items they want.

Some items that we have used as tokens are raffle tickets (available at office supply or craft stores), juice can lids decorated, printed currency and even old unused car and house keys. Change them up once in a while to keep them fresh.

Help each child to establish a safe place (or bank) to keep their earnings. On a periodic basis, maybe once a month, allow them to purchase little prizes with their earnings. This teaches them rewards of work, saving and even thrift.

Feel free to post your ideas on what to use for tokens for your kids!

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