How can a family reduce stress during this time of uncertainty? What can help keep or bring happiness to your family during the COVID-19 crisis or anytime?

In the first post in this series, I shared how a checklist can make help to make life easier. To make a list work with your children, incentives are a great motivator. Incentives must be more than simply not getting yelled at. We also know that despite ongoing poor performance, we can’t vote a family member “off the island.” A family needs a system of individual performance recognition.


  • Daily points are awarded by the whole group based on the day’s performance.
    1. A majority vote by the group saying the person performed well earns a point.
  • Celebrate the point by marking it on a special card for each individual. Hang in a place of prominence!
    1. If promised work is not completed, no points!
    2. When 30 points are earned, it’s worth a new book $10 or less. (Chance for 1 book per month)
    3. Kids can save their cards and use together if a book is more than $10.
  • This is a great way to encourage reading and teach them reverence for book ownership.
  • This method is also a way for parents to earn points and show that all have responsibilities in a family.
  • The majority vote to earn a point means that each person is held accountable to the whole group.

Cotchas-short for “Caught You Doing Something Good,” reinforce desired behaviors immediately when they happen.

  1. When a positive behavior is noticed, a card is handed out with great fanfare. If a negative behavior is committed, a Cotcha may be taken away.
  2. Cotchas are held in an envelope until a child earns 20. They can then redeem them for a family activity.
    1. This is an activity of the child’s choosing.
    2. The whole family participates.
      1. Things like: trip to roller rink, picnic, fishing, games.
  • Not only parents can give or take away Cotchas. Kids can award or penalize each other as well with a vote of 2 or more of the group.

This promotes self-organizing behavior & allows the children to police themselves in many conflicts.