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Obsolete Page

This page is no longer current, and is being kept only for archival purposes. I never could get around to making the pockets with cards, though I did start on it several times. I'm thinking now that web software is the way to go.

This is version 2 of kidpoints, and is more self-regulating than v1 -- so probably more suitable for older kids (~10 and up). (I can post the previous version if anyone is interested.)


  • There is a set of cards with one task listed on each card.
  • Each task has a certain number of points (usually fixed) attached to it.
  • Tasks which need doing are kept in a pocket accessible to the kids.
  • Each kid has a pocket for "tasks done".
  • When a kid does a task, he takes the card for that task and puts it in his pocket.
  • Parents assess penalty points for certain things; penalizable infractions should generally be listed in advance.
  • At regular intervals (e.g. weekly), there is an assessment:
    • Parents add up all point-cards filed by each kid, then subtract any penalty points
    • Parents deduct a fixed number of points for "basic upkeep".
      • This number should be decided in advance; changes should also be announced in advance, preferably with some justification.
      • This is essentially the parents defining how much work the kids should be doing each interval in order to "earn their keep".
      • The number can be different for each kid, though again there should be justification. It should be "fair" to use age as a basis, i.e. older kids need to be doing more work. (We'll see how this plays out...)
    • The final balance translates into a reward; see discussion below.
      • Points not traded for reward may optionally accumulate interest; these points and their interest are carried over to the next interval.
    • What to do about deficits? See below.


For a long time, I resisted anything that made it possible to think of points as money, but I think we've reached the point where it's necessary, and a reasonably accurate representation of value exchanged:

  • parents provide a certain amount of value (food, clothing, shelter, basic upkeep) to kids
  • kids are expected to do a certain amount of work to help offset this -- less for younger kids, more as kids approach adulthood
  • extra work should be rewarded in a way that is independent of parents

It also satisfied the need for allowances, which we haven't been giving them, and ties each kid's allowance to their performance during the past week rather than being an "entitlement".

As much as possible, points awarded should be tied to how much effort and/or expense the task actually saves the parents. Tasks should not be make-work.


If a kid is underperforming, it can be very easy for an impossible deficit to accumulate. You could set a maximum deficit, but then this would take away much of the incentive to save up (maybe this isn't a problem?).

Solution for now: if a deficit starts to accumulate, re-examine

  • the value of tasks the kid is doing -- maybe the kid with the deficit has certain tasks that are harder than we're giving credit for
  • the "basic upkeep" deductible for that kid


Here are the actual details as first implemented here at Hypertwin Manor on 2011-01-16:

  • /price list: reward and penalty points schedules
  • /computer: rules for computer use
  • "Upkeep" points:
  • Exchange rate: