On the top shelf of my pantry I have 4 mason jars. There is one jar for each child and currently each jar does contain some money. You might think that these jars are where allowances are kept but that would not be a correct assumption. I lovingly refer to these jars as therapy jars.
The premise is quite simple. Each boy has his own jar. On the days when my parenting skills have been lacking and not quite up to snuff, a contribution is made to the appropriate jar. On the days when I know I've rocked as a mom, I've removed money from the appropriate jar (not all money, just a little). My theory is that when the boys grow up and are looking for someone to blame for all of their troubles, my husband and I will be the likely targets. I will calmly go to the pantry and pull down the appropriate jar and give it to my son, letting him know that I had anticipated this day long long ago. Based on my goal to self monitor my parenting skills, if there is quite a bit of money in the jar, I obviously had a few more bad days than good. If there are minimal dollars in the jar, I hit the mark more days than not.
Before giving my child his jar, I will hug him and look him in the eye as I remind him how much I love him. Once the jar is in his hands, he is the individual responsible for his happiness and peace of mind. Hopefully my contribution to his enlightenment will be appreciated - or at the very least will pay for an In & Out Double Double w/ shake & fries.