Funny thing is, though, the winner doesn't necessarily get the quarters. The quarters go to a specific daughter. In our bedroom, my wife and I have two small canisters where we drop the quarters, one for each girl. When one is full, we do the whole "How-many-quarters-am-I-holding?-thing". Then, those quarters get dumped into a fish bowl in that girl's room. These are no ordinary coins. They are "Proud Quarters."
The tradition started when our oldest daughter (16) was in utero. I would sing to my wife's stomach, and if the baby responded, I'd tell her I was proud of her, and at some point my wife and I decided to drop a quarter in the fish bowl every time we used the "P-Word".
Sixteen years and two fishbowls later, we've been dropping quarters for good grades, handling a tough situation maturely, getting on the cheer team, helping a friend, anytime we feel proud of our daughters.
These fishbowls are getting awfully full. People ask, what we plan to do with the money. We never really knew when we started. We had no idea how long it would take to fill the bowls, but we always knew that once they were full, we'd know exactly what to do with the change. More importantly, though, is that our daughters have a visual reminder of the hundreds (maybe thousands) of times we have felt proud of them.
This is important, because there are plenty of times we are disappointed, when they do something selfish, when they purposely push their sister's button, when they make a promise about doing their chores that they don't keep. There's no bowl for disappointments, though. The girls get the lecture or consequence, and then it's over. But, with the proud moments, they can see how often we have noticed the good things about them.
They never have asked when they could spend the money or how much it will be when full. I have a feeling that when the day comes, there will be a little sadness knowing that their visual display of our pride in them will be gone, but we are all so happy that we have created this tradition.