Sunday, August 3, 2008

Step 3: Positive Reinforcement

What we noticed first
"We" have a problem, too

Fixing it:
STEP 1: Create Family Rules
Step 2: Add a Little Structure

Step 3: Positive Reinforcement

It's been awhile since I posted about this and had forgotten to post the best part of our plan: STICKERS!!! :)

Will would get a LITTLE sticker when he completed each of the tasks on his chart: stay in room until 7:00AM, get dressed, brush teeth, stretch/exercise, daily chore, learning time, nap or quiet time, bible story, brush teeth before bed, and obey throughout the day.

There was a blank sheet of paper that hung next to this chart that held the BIG stickers and possible rewards. Every day he obeyed well, he would get a BIG sticker to put on the blank sheet. If he got LITTLE stickers for at least 7 of the other 9, he got another BIG sticker. So, he could earn up to 2 BIG stickers each day.

Based on the number of BIG stickers he saved up, he chose a reward. Will and I came up with the BIG sticker rewards; they are:

3: educational computer game

5: 30 minutes of watching Thomas the Train videos on youtube

8: Special time with mom or dad

12: Use spending money

15: Go to the Park

25: New Train

When he chose a reward, he would cut the stickers off the page and "paid" me with them. He has already been rewarded with: youtube three times, video games twice, and two different nights of camping in the living room with dad.

With school starting soon, I have revamped the list and made it into a "Morning Routine" chart instead:

Now I just ask him what he still needs to do to finish his morning routine. He goes over to this chart and checks it out. Once he's completed it, he gets a BIG sticker. He'll also continue to get a BIG sticker for obeying well.

I really like this whole concept because not only is he learning what he needs to do and creating a routine, but he's earning for his "work" and saving and spending his stickers. It's like teaching him how to use money without using money!

I'm sure this idea will continue to grow and change. The rewards will get reevaluated and eventually turn into an allowance. Jeff and I haven't decided whether to give an allowance based on chores or not. The boys needs to do chores because they are part of the family (not motivated by money), but also need to learn the concept of working for their money (and if you don't work... you don't get paid).

So, what's the basis for an allowance at your house? Do your kids do chores as family work or do they do chores to get paid? I'd love to know... :)

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Super B's Mom said...


You are an amazing mom!! I seriously mean that. You have three boys and you really have it together. I have one and I do good just to remember to get him to brush his teeth once a week.

Ok ok...maybe that's a slight exaggeration but you get my drift. =)

Today was one of those days when I have been slapped in the face with the reality of my parenting.

My son is totally over-indulged. And it's all my fault. I do everything for him - thinking that I'm being a good Mom and in turn, he just takes advantage of it and runs our household. I MUST get a handle on this and SOON.

I'm glad you posted this b/c I really need to take this to heart and start teaching B the value of good age-appropriate work. I love your ideas.

Keep it comin' honey. :)

Becky @ BoysRuleMyLife said...

Super B's mom...

No, I really don't have it all together! Promise!!! I didn't say he finishes his morning routine every day... he only gets a sticker if he does! LOL! We have times where it seems like he hasn't brushed his teeth in a week, too. Every day is a new struggle and hopefully a little successful, too! :)

Thanks for the encouraging words, though. Maybe one day I'll be the mom you *think* I am. LOL!

Tracy said...

First I like the new look it's great! Second I think it's great your using the sticker system. I've started it and then quit so many times with it I've lost count. Our boys all have chores they have to do every day and some they have to do weekly that they don't get paid for. I have extra jobs every week that if they would like to do them we pay them for that. For example if they vacuum out the van and wash it we pay them a little. If they clean out the garage they get paid etc. This is what works for us. I think it's a good balance between doing chores because your part of a family but also they can earn some money to save or spend if they want to. Our older two boys also will work for neighbors mowing lawns, shoveling driveways doing odds and ends yard work for money as well. I think your doing a great job getting them into a routine and starting out on chores it makes them feel so important and we all need that!

Anonymous said...

Very nice idea--I've always been fond of sticker charts--and of routines ;-) This seems to marry the two perfectly.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a fantastic system! I know it sounds good and that at times it does not work as well as it sounds, but it is certainly a great idea and a great system!!!! You go, girl!!! Hooray for family!!

What I did was that I had things to do inside the house that were done as a part of all of us working together to keep the home harmonious. There was no allowance, but I certainly would give bonuses by buying something Jeremy wanted or taking him somewhere special, when he did his chores days on end without too much grief and/or reminders. I would surprise him with those treats infrequently, which made him more and more interested in doing his "chores" without much grief in the future.

I paid him for things that I would pay someone else for. Example: I would give him money for cutting grass (but not the amount someone would have charged me). I expected and solicited his assistance in gardening, for example, but I paid for manual labor in the yard, such as hauling off bush cuttings, tree trimming, etc. He would wash my car and clean the inside. I would pay for that. If he came up with his own idea of something he wanted to do for pay, my thought was if I would pay someone else to do it, then I would pay him. Granted, you know me and know that I am self sufficient and I do a lot of my own labor. Still, I would pay him to do things, because it was something he asked to do and something I would pay someone else to do, if I were incapable... again, though, I would not pay as much as someone hired would charge.

Yes, I think the sticker program is a great way of teaching about responsibility and money. But, I think money for hard effort is also important.

I hope this made sense... if not, let me know....

Unknown said...

we don't deal with allowance yet but i heard a good system one time. no allowance for every day chores but they can earn money for doing the extra jobs and projects around the house. who knows if i'll still like this when it comes time to try it but it sounds good in theory.

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