I think I have found the holy grail of…we’ll call it “behavior management & character development”…for my minions. What I mean by that is that we’ve found a genius way to punish them for bad stuff & reward them for good stuff. It may not work for everyone, but since we’ve been doing it, it’s been working great for us. It’s the first time the kids have actually been excited about a plan their dad and I have come up with & wanted to follow through on it just as much as we wanted them to. I didn’t want to get excited too soon for fear of jinxing it, but I can’t resist sharing any longer.
It’s a points system. You know…like frequent flier miles except way better & tailored to your kids behavior, academics or whatever you want to tailor it to. Minion #2, Princess Sassypants, got grounded the first of this month & after trying (largely unsuccessfully) just about every other conceivable punishment on earth, we decided to try yet another method. Instead of telling her how long she was grounded for and attempting to confine her to a bedroom, take away toys, etc. we decided to make a few changes to our usual tactics.
Enter the points system.
Here are a couple screen shots of my computer:
We told Princess Sassypants that this system means she has complete control over how long she’s grounded for. So far, I think we made the right choice with this because I feel like a lot of her problem is feeling too restricted, like she has little to no control over her own life so she resists absolutely everything. It’s been 10 days & I suspect that sometime tomorrow, Princess Sassypants will be ungrounded. For her, this is serious because this child literally cares about NOTHING. I have taken her toys away. Didn’t care. Taken her iPad/electronics/TV time away. Didn’t care. Made her follow me around & clean all day long. Didn’t care. Write & do extra credit work for school. Not a single care. Made her do exercises. Nope. Spanked her. Didn’t make an impact either. There are a ton of other things I could list that we have tried, but the point is that only two of them have made an impact and both of those things were reward systems. That is the way to get through to my girl apparently.
Minion #1, Mr. Thoughtful, got grounded on the 7th for a lie he told at school. Don’t let the name Mr. Thoughtful fool you; he’s a good kid, but he does some stupid stuff, too…like fifth grade forgery. I’m sure he’s going to make his 500 points tomorrow as well. The difference is that it took him 3-4 days versus Princess Sassypants’ 10-11 days, but he’s always been way easier to motivate than she is.
Because of how enthusiastic they were about getting off restriction, the hubs and I decided that a points system for everything might be something to try. So, while the two oldest were trying to earn points to get off restriction, we let the youngest earn “Reward Points” using the same list of jobs. While they’re grounded, they can’t earn Reward Points, but once they’re eligible for Reward Points we plan on letting them accumulate and letting the kids cash them in for different rewards like movie nights or special things they want. We haven’t quite worked out what things will be on the reward list or how many points they’re going to be worth yet, but I’ll be working on that soon. My son seems to think he’s going to earn an iPad by using this method of earning reward points, but what he doesn’t know yet is that in order to earn an iPad he’s going to have to save up something ridiculous like 10,000 points…which means my house is about to be super clean. YES!
This is working so well thus far that even two of my nephews and a niece are trying to earn points right along with my kids. I am SO loving this! 🙂
I’m really hopeful that we’ve finally found a way to settle a lot of problems we were having. Chores and schoolwork were a battle to get done and now they’re fighting over who gets to do what chore, reading a whole lot more, doing homework without being asked and even helping each other with their work. Keep your fingers crossed for us that this continues to be successful long term. I’m too exhausted to think of another “behavior management & character development” plan right now. Lol
Now it’s your turn –
What are/were some of your biggest parenting challenges? What have you done with your kids that has been successful? I want to swap horror and/or success stories. 😀