Do you want to teach your kids discipline, delayed gratification, motivation, and financial literacy? I'll show you how to do a Family Store so you can teach your kids valuable lessons AND have fun at the same time!

Close up image of a pile of multi-colored raffle tickets to be used for a family store. - Fun Cheap Or Free

One of the top questions I get is along the lines of, “How do you motivate and discipline so many kids?!”. I'm not going to lie, parenting a whole herd of small kids is NOT EASY, but I'm going to share with you one of my very favorite parenting hacks.

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Finding ways to keep things running smoothly is a top priority around here, so I have tested so many methods to make sure we are on the right track as a family. Enter: the Family Store! I'll tell you all about what it is, how it works, and why we do it. Read on!

What Is A Family Store?

Image of Jordan placing toys on the table to be purchased in the family store. - Fun Cheap Or Free

What the heck am I talking about, you ask? A Family Store is a system we came up with to incentivize positive behavior. Other families might have similar ideas under a different name, such as a prize box or prize shelf.

Throughout the year I keep an eye out for good deals on fun toys, crafts, treats, books, and anything else I think my kids might like. I keep them stored in a closet while my kids work hard on earning tickets through good behavior. After a few months, I bring it all out and let them “shop”! Anything not purchased gets used for birthday parties later on.

I'll also make a list of fun “experiences” they can purchase, like a one-on-one date with mom and date.

As I'm sure you can guess, Family Store day is SUPER exciting and we all look forward to it!


How Does A Family Store Work?

To operate our Family Store, I buy a big roll of basic raffle tickets from my local party store or Amazon. Each kid has a bag with their name on it that we keep hung up on the wall. Whenever I catch my kids doing something awesome, I reward them with a ticket or two!

Some of the things that qualify for a ticket are:

  • Doing extra chores (outside of their daily clipboard items!)
  • Helping a sibling
  • Using kind and patient words
  • Being generous with toys
  • Following instructions the first time I ask

Or really anything else I think should be rewarded! Your list of behaviors you're trying to encourage might look different from ours, and that's great! Come up with something that works well for your unique family.

To keep things honest, we'll usually sign or initial the back of a ticket so that we can verify that no one was being sneaky. You can come up with your own method, too!

When shopping day rolls around, I'll separate items according to value and label them with a price. Remember when you'd go to the arcade as a kid and earn tickets to redeem for a prize? It's a lot like that! High value items cost more, while small trinkets are less.


Watch The YouTube Video!

Freebs, I love this so much, I even made a video about how we do the Family Store in our home! Check it out!


Why A Family Store?

Doing a family store is one of my favorite things to do as a parent because I feel like it teaches our kids SO much! We try hard to focus on building positive behaviors, rather than just punishing negative ones. Plus, it helps the kids learn:

  • Delayed gratification – in our instantaneous world it is good to have to wait for desired things once in a while!
  • Mindfulness – learning to be aware of your thoughts and behaviors in the moment is so valuable!
  • Financial literacy – we're not using real currency, but they still are having to learn what it means to earn enough to buy something, how to save for something better, etc.
  • How to handle disappointment – sometimes another sibling earned more tickets, so they get to buy more things. That can feel unfair to kids, but life isn't fair, right?! This teaches kids to work hard to earn what they want, rather than expecting a handout just because. Just another way to raise resilient, capable kids!

Rewarding our kids for good choices has been so effective and brings so much joy into our home! Focusing on the positive will help keep the positive energy flowing.

I hope this is helpful! I'd love to hear about how you implement a family store in your family!

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