Thursday, January 31, 2013

DIY: Reward System for Kids

We were having a hard time figuring out consequences and reward that were suited for our family and our style of parenting. We have learned by trial and error as most of you probably have. About 8 months ago, we were going through several changes in our life. We sold our house, moved, started one of our babes in school, and added several other time consuming activities to our life. On top of everything the kids were feeling the stress of the changes before the move and afterwards our world of "behavior and obedience" pretty much fell apart. My days were spent in survival mode moving from one behavioral crisis to the next. Something had to change! Michael and I tried everything... one on one quality time, special outings, time outs, corporal punishment, taking away toys and privileges, the list goes on and on, yet not much changed.

Flashback two years! I found myself in the presence of shear genius. I was sitting at the vet and beside me sat another young mom with 4 young boys about the age of my own. As I sat there watching these 4 brothers that reminded me so much of my own boys at home, I heard the mother reprimand one of the boys behavior and say, ""When we get home, you owe me a brother buck.". I stopped dead in my tracks at that moment I had to know what a brother buck was... so I not being one to sit silent told the mom... I must know what a brother buck is! She was happy to share her system of rewards and consequences they used in their family. I loved it, and tucked it away in my mental bank for a rainy day.

Flash forward! It hit me in my desperation one day, maybe we could do some sort of sticker chart... and all of a sudden I remembered the system of Brother Bucks. My sweet husband ran to the local Dollar store and the next morning we started a new system of consequences and rewards and 8 months later it is still working like a charm.

In less than two weeks our entire family attitude was refreshed. As parents we were 1. focused on the positives in the kids behavior more than the negative and 2. refocused on the need for consistency!! Two things that we had lost in our survival mode; and the boys were excited to work for rewards. They were using their manners, speaking kindly to one another, and working towards their own personal behavioral goals, most of the time.

So here is the rundown!

The boys are rewarded for putting the fruits of the spirit into practice. Each time we catch them using a fruit of the spirit, they are rewarded with a brother buck. Each brother has a special basket to keep his brother bucks in. Periodically we find them counting their bucks and trying to decide if they want to spend or save. The boys are allowed to turn in their bucks at anytime, but also know that some rewards are instantaneous like a sucker or dessert after dinner.... while others have to be scheduled, like dates, and family outings. (by the way, there are spending limits on both of these rewards). If the boys are acting disrespectfully or being disobedient Michael and I always hold the right to have the boys return one, or all of their brother bucks back to us.

I made a quick chart using Microsoft word, eventually I would like to write the rewards on a replace it with a small chalkboard. For now, I have the document displayed in a spare picture frame, and kept near the baskets.
dum dums are always in our pantry... Brennan likes to turn his brother bucks 5 at a time.

Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law or punishment against such things.

1 comment: