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How my kids have monetized “Barfing” Season

I have one amazing tip for helping moms and dads when it comes to barf season. This is also a great tip for kids that are looking to make a couple extra bucks. This simple incentive is going to help you and your kids get through the cold and flu season with less puke on the floor and more in the toilet or bucket.  Nothing is worse than a miserable puking kid.  Cleaning up after a sick child is no fun and it spreads the infection! This tip is so easy!  This is the best money I have ever spent! Read about how your kids can monetize barfing season too! You are welcome in advance!

barfing seasonMy kids don’t get sick very often.  My oldest is somewhat obsessive compulsive and pretty good about washing her hands.  My son is not at all obsessive compulsive, but spent the first year of his life building up immunities by sharing a room with 20+ other kiddies.  Our youngest isn’t in school yet and we obsessively wash hands before and after playdates and church.  So far there isn’t a ton of barfing going on in our house.  We have a barf fest about once every other year, if that. I gather from my facebook feed that once every other year or so with three young kids is fairly low in comparison.

Despite not having a ton of experience, we have an epic way of getting the kids to barf in the toilet instead of all over the ground.

That’s good because I am a sympathetic puker.  I have a super weak gag reflex and while a kid is barfing I might just barf too; I am at the very least going to gag.  If a kid barfs on stuff that is a huge problem for me.  I’m not suggesting anyone is OK with mopping up barf, but eight years into this parenting thing I still can’t do it without dry heaving.

So when my oldest had just turned four and Bubs was 3 Barf-fest 2010 began and I was all “Oh joy!”  Half joking I told my daughter “Thank you so much for getting to the toilet before getting barf on your carpet. I am going to give you a dollar!”  In between retching my sweet Sister J looks up at me and says “Really? I get a dollar?”

*light bulb*

“Yeah sure, does that make you feel  a little better?”

“Yeah, cuz I don’t feel good at all but I like dollars.”

“Want to earn more?  Every time you get all your barf in the toilet you get a dollar.  If you can’t make it to the toilet but you get it all in the bucket you get 50 cents – how does that sound?”

*barf*  “AWESOME!”

When she was done with that round I gave her a dollar and kinda made a big deal out of it, hoping that when the next round stirred in her belly she might have a little bit less anxiety about it and maybe a wee bit of incentive to make it to the potty in time.  I made it clear to her that she would never be in trouble if she didn’t make it to the potty or even if it didn’t make it into the bucket, but if it does make it into the potty everyone wins!

She couldn’t wait to find her brother (who was being quarantined at the time in hopes of him avoiding the flu….. it was for not).  “Guess what S?  Mom gives us dollars for barfing in the potty!  I made three dollars today!”

“Ah, no fair!  I want to barf and make money!” Bubs

And less than 24 hours later he started earning the big bucks too.  Yay parenting.

Dare I ask?  What is the most unconventional thing you have ever paid your kids to do?


Until Next Time ~ Kate
Categories:  Family, Kids
  1. Rachael says:

    Ok, I think this the most hilarious rewards system ever…you crack me up!

    • Kate Hamernik says:

      Rachael – it was quite by accident and it cracks me up too – but it is THE BEST – lol!

  2. Brooke Knipp says:

    Ha! All of my parenting brilliance seems to happen on a whim or accidentally, just like this.
    We have a sprayer attached to our toilet from when our kids were in cloth diapers, and it’s not going anywhere until my kids are grown and out of the house. It comes in handy so often with kids. They throw up in big bowls, I spray out the bowl. Potty training in the mini toilet–spray the mini one into the big one. Potty training accidents–spray out the undies into the toilet.
    Keep up the good work πŸ™‚

  3. Claire says:

    This is too funny! What smart kids!!

  4. Melissa Dell says:

    oh my goodness this is brilliant! I’m also a sympathetic gagger/puker and the last round was horrific. But I got both kids puking in the toilet and it was pretty much the best thing ever (my daughter is 3 and made it on her own. my son, 18 months but i carried him and ran).

    Going to remember the dollar method for next time!

    • Kate Hamernik says:

      isn’t it?! It was something we happened upon on accident so I can totally call it brilliant too πŸ˜‰ – it started with our 3 year olds so it might work for her – I think even if it only works one time the entire pukefest that is one less mess for me & the kids get a little glimmer of fun in what is otherwise kinda the worst – winners all around!

  5. Chelsea Day says:

    Hah! This is my favorite thing on the internet today.

    • Kate Hamernik says:

      well that makes my day Chelsea! Please feel free to hold this handy tip close to your heart πŸ˜‰

  6. Rebekah says:

    Genius! This will be implemented in our home next flu season!

  7. Nikki says:

    This.is.genius! I’ve been fortunate to have one kid who never gets sick, but our 2-year-olds are ALWAYS sick. If barfing takes over in our home (and let’s hope it doesn’t), I am totally bribing my toddlers. Until they learn about money I think I’ll plan on rewarding with stickers. πŸ˜‰

  8. Natalie says:

    This is the best idea EVER! My 1.5 year old had the GI virus about a month ago, and I would’ve paid any amount of money to bribe her to go to the toilet instead of sharing copiously with us, the floor, and our clothes. :/ I hope your kids are feeling better!

  9. Jennifer says:

    Too funny! Great example of taking lemons & making them into lemonade! πŸ˜‰

  10. Laura Lohr says:

    I have the worst gag reflex. I’ll puke at the suggestion of puke or poop. I feel your pain. Ingenious idea to pay for puke in the potty!

  11. annabelt says:

    Lol – if this actually works it’s pretty impressive! Hope they’re feeling better

  12. Christine says:

    That is so funny! I just may try this! I have one kid that vomits almost every time she’s sick. She really tries to make it to the bathroom, I just may mention it the next time, just for a little more incentive…

  13. You are a genius. This was hilarious, and honestly a brilliant idea.

  14. Nikki says:

    I love this reward system! My little one is really good at making it to the toilet, so it hasn’t been too bad.

  15. […] years back and it has kept me from cleaning up quite a lot of vomit.Β  Learn a little more about how my kids Monetized barfing season and why I am totally OK with it!Β  Maybe you don’t want to bribe your kids, that’s cool […]

  16. Caryn B says:

    Brilliant. I can empathize. I’m going to try this!

  17. Kristene Hanson says:

    We started doing a quarter per each time they made it in the toilet, bucket etc a few years back and this has made my life SOOOO much easier. Before they wouldnt even try but now, at least my daughter tries to make it in. My son is more content to follow me artound panicking about barfing while barfing. And he is the older one haha. But my daughter will proudly go to school once all better and annouce how much money she made haha

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