Thursday, September 8, 2011

Losing Our Marbles No More!

For the past few weeks we've all been "hanging on by a thread" here at our house. I blame the change in our schedules. Lo's slowly getting used to being at school all day and having more responsibility. Noa has eased into her scheduled quite nicely. She loves her time home with Mommy and for the most part has been wonderful in the behavior department. Logan's behavior? Not so much...At times I see a glimpse into our future when she's a teenage and let me tell you my friends it's not pretty! A few days ago a friend of mine blogged about a reward program they do at her daughter's school and how they are also doing it at home. It was one of those "duh!" moments. Lo's school does something too and she loves it! I tweaked it a bit and came up with our own system using marbles. What I like best is that it focuses on rewarding positive behavior instead of punishment for inappropriate behavior.

Here are the basics:

  • Each girls has their own jar and marble color
  • You earn marbles by exhibiting good behavior, getting ready quickly and without arguing or fussing, making good choices and using kind words
  • There is no limit to the amount of marbles you can earn each day
  • Once your marbles are in your jar you cannot loose them, but for certain activities you start with a certain number of marbles and can loose them if you are not making good choices. For example, it is a BATTLE at horseback riding lesson to keep the girls from literally laying in the dirt in the arena. Now each girl starts with 10 marbles (that's A LOT to them). Each time someone digs/lays in the dirt she loses a marble. I will be using this system practically every time we go out in public! Run around the store? Loose a marble. Kick your sister? Loose two marbles!
  • Once your jar is full you earn a ticket. Tickets are then used to "buy" rewards. I really wanted to stay away from "things" as a reward so girls can choose to buy extra TV tickets, an extra story at bedtime, or special time alone with Mommy or Daddy. Each reward will have a different ticket cost so they can choose to save them for bigger rewards or spend them right away for the smaller ones.
So far the marbles are working well. The only problem we have run into is that Lo is getting upset because NoJo is getting more marbles. She's just home more so she's going to earn more. I just keep reminding Lo that it's not a competition between them and that she won't earn marbles for unkind words. I'm also really trying to reward her frequently for her good behavior and choices since she is having more trouble with displaying appropriate behavior. My hope is that as she gets more rewards for good choices her "choices" will become second nature. One can only hope!

What kinds of reward systems have you found helpful? We're always in need for new and fresh ideas so send them our way!

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