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Kindness Coins

You know, I’d like to think that my children show the utmost kindness towards each other–all the time.  Really, is it THAT hard?  So much to ask?  I really don’t think so.  I find myself saying, “Don’t talk to each other. Don’t look at each other.  Was that necessary?” With our sometimes loooong summer days, I found that fuses could be short, and the kindness factor was lacking.  It sortof infuriates me when my kids are unkind to each other.  I don’t tolerate it.  After 2 months of up and down, I devised a plan.  I like to implement positive re-inforcement when I can…and my kids like a little money.  Since they don’t get money from us for daily jobs, it’s harder to come by at home. I came up with the Kindness Coins.  Each week (I chose Sunday) since I expected kindness, I presented the coins with full hopes that they would get to keep all of them.  Since my boys are older (and wise to the whole “penny is only 1 cent” bit) I chose quarters, something I wanted them to want to keep a hold of. I chose well, because they did.  For me, that amounted to 10 coins per child, a total of $2.50 each.

I explained that I wanted to reward them in advance for their expected kindness, but if they choose to show unkindness towards a sibling or myself, I will request a quarter.  I’d like to report that after a month, things are coming along quite nicely.  They are learning that with each unkind comment (sometimes they don’t even realize it), a quarter must be gently placed in my hand (I’ve had a few thrown, and that’s a no-no…go get another quarter;).  In a more severe instance, I asked for 2 quarters, and in all cases, I expect (sincere, look-them-in-the-eye) apologies for the unkindness. A very simple song I learned in church as a child comes to mind, “I want to be kind to everyone, for that is right, you see.  So I say to myself…remember this:  Kindness begins with me.”

When they give a quarter to me, I put it right back into the bucket from which I drew at the beginning of the week. Just make sure you replenish your supply (or maybe it was a rough week and you don’t have to).  We are working on showing more kindness at home, to make it a more enjoyable place for all of us.  One of my favorite songs, Love at Home, I sometimes sing (just to doubly emphasize my point):  “There is beauty all around,
when there`s love at home.”


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  1. Great idea! We could have used some more kindness among siblings this summer as well! We may just have to implement this!

  2. I think that this is a great alternative to allowance. I remember getting an allowance as a kid and I didn’t really do anything for it. That taught me that you don’t have to work for money, you just need to ask mom. :) I like this idea of a small allowance for when the kids are younger, and for such a great thing as being kind. Awesome idea!

  3. i love this idea! i read something similar to it in Family Fun, I think…and have wanted to try it. Your system seems really easy and Brad and I both are excited to try it out! I especially like that they lose a quarter when they aren’t nice to mom (or dad) — not just each other. My kids are generally very sweet, but they definitely have their days where they are super sassy and disrespectful…so this could help!! Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is a really great idea! I would love to try this with my girls, we could use a little more kindness around our house–sassy attitudes have made an appearance lately. :)

  5. Perfect timing on this post! As we are counting down the days until school starts (only 2 left!) I find myself with a shorter and shorter fuse when it comes to breaking up fights, the kids tattling on each other for little things, etc. I’ve been trying to come up with a proactive approach to it, instead of me constantly having to stay “stop it!” or “say you’re sorry!” and I think this might just work!

  6. What a wonderful idea!
    And I really appreciate how honest you are. Sometimes i think my children are the only ones who fight or are unkind to one another but I guess that is not the case. I will have to try this out and see if it works! Thank you!

  7. great idea! I am going to have to do this when my kiddos are older :)

  8. Oh, I LOVE this idea!! This is what we need!

  9. Nice idea. Is it still working? The toughest challenge can sometimes be just maintaining a good practice.

  10. This is a fantastic idea!!! I will definitely be linking to this post from my blog! I love posts like this, good work! I think I can get away with nickles and pennies still.I am always on the lookout for creative solutions. Thanks for sharing. Now pinning…

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