Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mom2Mom Tips - Rewarding Kids Inexpensively

I have decided to start a new weekly feature item in my blog, which I will call Mom2Mom Tips. My hope is that other blogging moms will also write weekly about the same topic I am (for instance, this week is "Rewarding Kids Inexpensively"). That way, we can share tips with one another and hopefully all learn new techniques to help our daily lives run smoother. Those of you who read this but do not have a blog yourselves, you can simply post a comment to offer your own tips related to the subject. Simple, right? Jump on the bandwagon --- you know you want to! ;) And if you do write a post, let me know about it and I will link to it from this post.

"Rewarding Kids Inexpensively"
  • Sticker charts - my kids really respond to sticker charts, and I give a prize for receiving a certain number of stockers for good behavior (prizes start at 5 stickers for a new behavior, and 10 stickers for a behavior that is more of a pattern).
  • Calling someone to brag - I make a point to call someone if my kids do something great or really cool (for instance, we called Grandma when Ethan slept in his big-boy bed for the first time). The kids beam with pride when they are bragged about.
  • High Fives - I give high fives for cleaning up, going potty, figuring out a puzzle, etc. Abby and I developed "Far-Away Fives" (high fiving the air from across the room) and "Foot Fives" (high fives given in the car, my hand to the kid's foot). Abby especially thinks this is really cool.
  • Silly songs - I am forever making up songs, so I make up a song when the kids do something spectacular. We have a special potty song that goes, "Abby did a peepee, a peepee on the potty, Abby did a peepee, a peepee on the potty! Do-do-do-do-do-do-do!"
  • Feeding the pig - Mark keeps a collection of his pocket change, and if the kids have been good, they get to put some into their piggy banks.
  • Dollar store - as a reward for sticker-chart behavior, I will take the kids to the dollar store to choose an item. They think it's fun to look at all the items, and they get to take one home, even!
  • Self Pride - I watch Dr. Phil regularly, and I was very impressed with this parenting concept. He said that in addition to showing your kids that you're proud of them, you should teach them to be proud of themselves. I make it a point when Abby or Ethan do something really impressive to say, "wow - I bet you're proud of the great job you did!" or "you should be really proud of yourself!" I hope this teaches them to be their own best friends.
So... what are your tips on "Rewarding Kids Inexpensively"?


Jenny said...

I agree that sticker charts work wonders. However, we've recently put a new spin on this chart. We happen to call it the spider web chart. We stole it from a recent episode of Mrs. Spiders Sunny Patch. We drew a chart of spider webs and then Aidan chose an acorn to move up the chart. Everytime he does X he gets to move up the chart (it works great with chores or behaviors that happen more than once a day). Technically, he could earn more than one move up a day (since he was on to the fact that he could do his good behavior and then misbehave for the remainder of the day OR if he didn't get a sticker he pretty much acted out for the remainder of the day because he knew he wasn't going to earn the sticker anyway). Aidan was really excited about making his spider chart AND choosing his piece (the acorn.) You could design it to whatever the kids interests are. Unfortunately, ours happens to be spiders and bugs at the moment.

DWC said...

Since I'm a dad I guess I can't participate. :-)

Jennifer said...

I know that this only works in a very specific situation, but telling Emma that she had to do X before she could hold Caden worked like a charm and didn't cost a dime. Of course, threatening to have Uncle Derek tell her a secret (i.e. give her a "herbert") worked just as well...