The Collapse of the Token Economy #illumedati

Hey everyone, it’s Wednesday and I’m posting like I said I would! Is this the dream? Will I be able to stick to this modified posting schedule again? We’ll see. Anyways, today we’re going to talk about “The Collapse of the Token Economy“.

The Collapse of the Token Economy?


After rereading that title, I just realized it could be construed as an opinion on our nation’s economy. However, that is not what this post is about.

It’s more of a post-mortem on the Token Economy I established with my children with its rise and fall.

At first, things were pretty good. The kids were understanding the intrinsic value of the Chuck E Cheese tokens. However, over time, their interest began to wane, and now they’ve kind of completely forgotten about it.

This is mostly my fault.

Without the constant reminder of their value and the ability to earn them, my children forgot about them.

Of course, the whole COVID-19 pandemic didn’t really help. It was not really worthwhile to try to earn tokens when they couldn’t go spend them. I tried to convert the intrinsic value of the tokens (Chuck E Cheese games) and substituted things with my own “shop” of sorts. In that they could earn tokens and trade them in to my wife or I in order to “buy” movies to watch on the TV or toys.

This worked for a little while when the pandemic started. However, eventually things kind of went into survival mode after the kids were holed up in the house all day. We loosened the restrictions on TV watching because we didn’t have much choice.

That said, it did have the nice effect of making them understand that they can’t watch any TV until the living room is cleared of their toys. So, at least that was a small victory there.

So what happened?

Well, what happens when you have a currency that is essentially “worthless”? As you would expect, “society” breaks down. The things my kids used to do in order to try to earn tokens weren’t being rewarded anymore so those good habits kind of fell by the wayside. It wasn’t complete anarchy, but it wasn’t working the same.

So now it’s been awhile since either my daughter or my son has earned any tokens… and they’ve forgotten what they’re even good for. So what do I do? Do I just call it quits and let the Token Economy end? Or do I find some kind of stimulus package to remind them of the values of the tokens?

A stimulus package would be something like showing them their token banks with how many tokens they have and allowing them to “buy” something with them. As such, it reminds them of their value and then I can remind them of how to earn them.

I see…

To be honest, I’m not sure it’s worth it right now since it’s difficult to implement without the ability to use their intrinsic value at Chuck E Cheese. My wife and I are still deciding what to do about it. This may just need to go on the back burner until their reversion of some semblance of normalcy, however long that takes.

Then there is also the separate issue that my daughter is learning about money in general. We recently assigned her weekly (and daily) chores and she has been earning her monthly allowance. Will reintroducing the token economy just confuse her?

What do you guys think? Is it time to revive the token economy with a stimulus? Or should we let it go until a later date? Or should we just call it quits and label it a failed experiment?

Let me know your opinion in the comments!

Whatever Wednesdays Sensei


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