Ticket to the Good Life

My son loves video games.  Of course, saying the words … son … love … and video games … may be a tad redundant.  I mean, do we even know a boy today that doesn’t drool over the digital graphics that video games provide?

That being said, yes, my son does adore his gaming systems.  And when the summer months come I have to get tricky at how to limit the amount of time he can play.  Otherwise he would never make time to use his imagination or get any Vitamin D into his sytem.  That just won’t do for this teacher-at-heart mama.

What has been working for our family the past 2 years is a “ticket system”.  I wish I could claim this genius idea as my own but alas I cannnot.  It originally came from my friend Brit at this post (although she has since moved and is now found here).  This woman is the queen of creativity and many of my ideas springboard from her! She rocks!!

Anyhoo, this system really is great.  Let me explain how it works.

You start with a “bank” of tickets.


I suppose it’s possible to buy a roll of tickets and just use those.  But I’m way too cheap for that.  I had tons of scap paper all over the place so I just used my Silhouette SD and made my own.

Next, you need some jars or containers to keep the the tickets in.  You will need one for the “bank” and one for the “earned” tickets.  Any size and any type will work.  I just used what I had on hand in my stash.


Now you just purty up your jars with paints, washi tape, scrapbook paper, or even permanent markers would work too.  Of course, you don’t really have to even decorate them at all iffin you don’t want to.  I feel inclined to admit to you that for the past two years my jars have been naked and worked just fine.  It’s only because I thought of sharing this idea with you, my readers and friends, that I thought naked jars were not so good 🙂


Now, here’s how the system works.  At least for our family anyways.

1 ticket = 15 minutes of video game time.

No tickets = No playing video games.  PERIOD.

This is not negotiable in our home. Unless, of course, it’s the 4th of July and daddy overrides mommy and says, “It’s the 4th of July and a special day so no tickets needed today!” to which mommy just looks at daddy with “the look”

Uh-hum.  Yeah.  Moving on.  🙂

Tickets are won by chores and the good things you do … like folding laundry, taking the dog out, cleaning the sinks and mirrors, dusting, READING for 15 minutes (which is a chore in itself for son-of-mine … and actually only one ticket has been awarded for that this summer! Whose child is he anyways??), or by some other random act of kindness that we deem ticket worthy.

HOWEVER, tickets are also lost by a disrespectful attitude, or laziness, or anything that we deem “un” ticket worthy.

Now, this is just how we do our tickets.  Every family will have their own way of doing things and you could / should tailor it to fit your needs.  And the reward doesn’t have to be for video games.  It can be for anything … like # of tickets = ice cream out … or # of tickets = toy they want … or # of tickets = whatever it is your that works for you.

But I tell you, it works!!  If you stay consistent and on top of it … it really works!!  So my friends, as Mikey says, “Try it, you’ll like it!”

Hey, iffin you do try it … be sure to come back and comment below!  Also, if you have some other type of reward system that works be sure to comment with that below as well!!  We could all use a little parenting help from time to time!!

Linking up this idea to these fun Pahr-tays this week 🙂
BWS tips button The Stuff of Success Somewhat Simple > A Little R & R

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Ticket to the Good Life

  1. WonkyWonderful

    I love this idea! I think kids need some incentive to do extra work and behave a bit better… I know I did 🙂

  2. I have different colors of marbles. Greens for good deeds/attitudes, & Reds for bad stuffs. One red means 1 green has to be turned in. Each greens can be exchanged for little harmless stuffs (like a hairband for my daughter, or a colouring book for my son). We also have power marbles, in Yellow. These equal 3 greens. Applicable in cases like when my daughter of 5 took the initiative to teach her brother how to count. or when my son was brave enough to tell the truth after breaking a glass. 1 Yellow can get them special treats like Going out for ice-creams, or watching a favourite movie. It works quite well. Though it took some time for my son to learn that you cant throw them out, or break them, as it spoils the powers!

    • Ruth what a SUPER idea! I love the levels involved. Like at the fair/amusement parks where three little animals equal one big one. That encourages my son to keep trying … I think this might be our “school year” method. Great idea and thanks for sharing!!

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