Rewarding good behaviour — The Bump
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Rewarding good behaviour

The kids have been a bit unruly lately. DS is coming up on 3.5 (bad age for his big sis) and big sis is having more meltdowns lately and starting this oppositional thing, i.e. "Katie, time to clean up and get your pajamas on." "NO. I won't." "Yes, it's time, you have five minutes." "I won't." We can manage it--we do timeouts and taking away some privileges. But, I'd like to come up with a way to reward/encourage good behavior and have fewer scenes/struggles over things like cleaning up and bedtime. Anyone have good ideas?

Pedi suggested the rewards chart but NOT a calendar--they just get five stickers in a row and get some kind of prize, but if they miss a day there is no block with a missing sticker (cue instant meltdown). There are just five, undated boxes in a row and once they are filled it's prize time. I like that but wondering what other ideas are out there.
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Re: Rewarding good behaviour

  • The only thing I would suggest about a rewards chart is to make it about a specific behavior like bedtime.  If you are having a difficult time getting DD to go to bed, make a list with her of what she needs to do to earn that sticker at bedtime (get ready with out argument, brush teeth, put on pjs, stay in bed, etc). The first time I did a reward chart, I made the mistake of rewarding "good behavior", but that good behavior was never defined and DH and I had different ideas of what constituted good behavior.  We were inconsistent and handing out prizes right and left.

    As for the prizes, realize that you will need to keep it up. At first we gave actual, tangible prizes.  Then we decided we were giving out too much junk.  Next, we made the prize doing something special with me.  However, sometimes I couldn't take him to the zoo/park/waterpark etc on the day he earned that prize.  We finally made it so DS could earn privileges like extra TV time, an extra snack at dinner, time on the iPad, extra time at bedtime, time in the hammock with Dad, etc.  He can still earn those other prizes, but it is after more than just 5 stickers.  My chart has 25 spots, he earns rewards along the way, and gets a big one at the end.

    You could do a family jar and earn marbles or popcorn seeds.  When your kids are caught getting along, sharing, talking kindly to each other, etc they get to put a marble in the jar.  This way it is a team effort.

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    NicoleWI[Deleted User]
  • Thanks, Springtime, those are awesome ideas and tips! Especially the first part, about making it specific. I can totally see myself doing just what you started out with and having it be totally inconsistent. 
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