Just as I have finally figured out (on most days) how to get my younger children to do their jobs and finish what is asked, I now have a teenager and I really didn't know how to motivate him without "begging" him to get the work done. It drives me crazy because I don't think I should have to beg and I really don't like to treat the older ones like they are babies. One of the main objectives of raising children is to teach them to be accountable for themselves, that they must be responsible not just submissive. They need to be able to go into the world and do what needs to be done without mom reminding them or begging them. That is our mission. So, I contemplate how to light the fire. How to have them do the basics in the morning without me reminding and without grounding which I don't really like at all. I don't believe in weekly allowances for doing basic jobs because I think they do basic jobs because they are part of a family. If they need to earn money, I can provide extra work. So, here was my idea after several mornings of unmade beds and untidy rooms. My older children get weekly money for lunch at Jr. and High Schools. They are responsible for allocating the money per day so they will have enough for each weekday and if they budget wisely, they will have a little left. Conversely, if they hit the spirit store too often, no lunch money come Friday. I think it is a great lesson in budgeting. So, here was the deal. If they leave the house without beds made and room tidied up, I deduct $2 from the next weeks lunch money. I don't remind them, I don't get angry or bug them after school. I go make the bed. I get to keep $2 from the next week. I can handle $2 to make a bed. Heck, I have been doing it for free for years. However, I didn't make much so far because it only took one day to get the message across. I am still surprised every morning to see such a clean room without me reminding them. Isn't amazing how they can remember things when they don't get fed! Hmmmmmm, why didn't I think of this earlier!