Our household has been a much more peaceful place over the last several weeks. My husband and I have instituted the “Buck System.” Each child earns bucks through the week by doing choirs, doing things that are asked the first time and having a good attitude. They lose bucks with misbehavior or they spend them when the "buy" television and computer time.
The best part is that they get to write the checks for the bucks they spend (or get fined). We had some old checks that they are getting to use and we got some registers from the bank to them to keep a record of income and payout.
At the first of each week, I write them out a paycheck for the bucks that they have earned. They have to budget their bucks for the week, but they are also working to save bucks so that they can buy bigger items – like a day at putt-putt. At the end of the month I print out a statement for the months transactions for the kids to use to balance their registers (I use excel to do the work).
It is time consuming on my part, but it is worth it. At just 9 and 11 the kids are learning to use checks, to balance a checking account and how to make decisions about “spending” their income.