Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Glitter gal - Reward system

Since nothing I have been doing punishment wise has been working and the kid's behaviors have been out of control, I decided to try something new.  This concept was given to me by a friend but having never seen hers, I made up my own kind of a thing based on what she described.  Basically, it's a reward system and it looks like this:

Reece's Sparkle Card:  Let's Sparkle and Shine chart.

 A close up:  As you can see there are spaces for stars and then every so often there is a big sparkle.  These sparkles get farther apart as we get closer to the bottom of the chart (kind of like a weaning type process).  She earns stars by doing good things - doing something the first time she is told, NOT doing something the first time she is told (not to do it), willingly sharing with her brother, using good manners (may I be excused?), asking permission for things, helping me without being asked or with being asked and joyfully pitching in, helping her brother, etc.  She puts stars all across until she reaches a sparkle spot.  When she gets to a sparkle she gets to draw a paper out of a bowl (see below) which will have something fun on it.
 Bowl of fun things...like playing a game with mommy/daddy (she chooses who and what), piece of candy, picking a movie, play doh, coloring with mommy/daddy, reading a story with mommy/daddy, etc (I am in need of more ideas so please send some my way...nothing big like "Chuck E. Cheese"). 
I made one for Brody only because he really wanted stickers too...but he gets the concept more than I imagined.  The other day I asked if he would please go in the living room and get "sissy's blanket" while we were putting on our coats to go bye-bye.  He said "sure", ran to get it, and brought it back.  I rewarded him with a sticker and praised him.  I always explain why they are getting the sticker and I make sure to tell daddy all their good behaviors when he gets home (I wait to tell him all the bad ones when they are in bed or somewhere else - unless it needs to be addressed in front of them/him).  I can probably hear some of your groans and questions now.  I am the last person I would have ever thought would have gone to this kind of a system.  But after constant yelling, disciplining, time outs, spankings, etc...I had to try something else.  I feel like all I do is punish and I really don't want us to all be that miserable.  Granted there will still be times for punishment, but if I can catch them doing some good things, I am hoping some of the other things will melt away and this good behavior becomes 2nd nature to them and is just part of who they are.  It really is working so far.  We also established some consistent punishments based on certain bad behaviors.  For instance, if they choose not to listen to me and do something I told them they couldn't do (or don't do something I asked them to do), they have to stand in the corner with their ear to the wall.  This reminds them that their ear/lack of listening is what got them in trouble.  I also have a punishment for "sins of the mouth" (lying, talking back, etc) and other behaviors.  I thought if they knew what punishment they were getting it would help them know their consequences and I would know what to do and not waiver or go back and forth.  I found myself threatening punishments a lot but not following through because I didn't know which one to give for what.  So now that we have everything laid out, we can be more consistent.  If you want to know more about this, feel free to ask me about it.  I worry about this topic a little because everyone has such differing opinions on which way to go.  My opinion now is...you have to do what works for each child and for your family.  I am tired of mommy monster setting the tone in our house...it's time to take control!!  I'll keep you updated on how it is working.  But so far, it is going well!

p.s...Do I believe in spanking?  Yes...

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