Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rewards of A Different Color

In an effort to reward our children's good behavior but not promote materialism and multiply the already overwhelming pile of useless toys my children accumulate I came up with some alternative "Star Charts."

I print out a table for each child on the computer with places for the kids to place star stickers in each empty box. Each time I catch the child doing something good without being asked or doing something they dislike without complaints they get one or two stars, filling in the boxes. In the far right column I list the reward that each gets for completing three or four rows of stars.

So far, nothing remarkable but instead of giving physical rewards like candy, toys, etc. for filling in their stars I gave less tangible rewards that have come to be much more popular--and it varied according to what each child liked.

Examples include: ordering your favorite meal for dinner, getting to stay up an extra hour, going on a bike ride to a destination of your choice, going on a picnic, etc. The final "prize" for filling in the entire chart was a date night with Mom and Dad of their choice. Dinner, a movie, Discovery Zone, a bookstore trip, rollerblading at the park, ice cream and a hike, whatever they wanted.

The one-on-one time has been invaluable and the kids enjoy the power of choosing their own date. It's proved to be excellent incentive for good behavior.

Check in with Rocks in My Dryer every Wednesday for other good tips.

Also, go read the post at Mom On A Wire which got her nominated for October's Perfect Post award. Succinct, thoughtful and visually interesting--I thought it deserved some recognition. Check out Petroville or Suburban Turmoil for other Perfect Post winners.


Cece said...

What an excellent idea & rewarding system!

beth said...

I really like the idea of having non-object rewards. I'll have to keep this in mind for when the time comes.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I'll be back!

kailani said...

I think it's a great idea. Girlie Girl would love all the colors and seeing how much she's accomplished.

Meg said...

Hi Michelle-
I love this idea. On date night do both parents go? What happens to the other kid/s. I love the idea but I think my little guys might be too sad to be left behind, even if they knew it was coming up for them, too. Did you face this? Maybe my kids just aren't old enough yet.
Love to hear your thoughts.

snarflemarfle said...

I love this idea! Now I hope I can remember it in a few years when I can use it for my 9 month old!

mom on a wire said...

Thank you Michelle!!! You are so sweet.

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

Great idea - my big girl would love this (we did something similar a couple of years ago but it gradually died away) and the two youngest are old enough to appreciate rewards of the living/loving kind.

You clever mum, you!

Leslie said...

Great idea! I love the date night, too.

Waya said...

The more and more I read your blog, the more and more I heart you Michelle. Ok, don't get a restraining order out on me.

What great ideas you have, and the kids will absolutely treasure the one-on-one w/their mom and dad forever!

Anonymous said...

What an excellent idea.

I must set something like that up.