Friday, July 13, 2012

Sweet Child: Rocks in a Jar

Confession. I am a yeller. I yell at my three year old. I came from a yelling household. It's in my blood. I have a loud voice and I use it. Often.

I am *working* hard on breaking this horrible cycle for two reasons: 
1) I love my three year old and I don't like yelling at him.  
2) Yelling doesn't work. It takes more energy to yell and get upset than it does to take deep breaths and reassess the situation. Plus he looks at me and laughs.

Slight tangent, when we potty trained out child we did not use rewards. I took a wonderful toilet training class that advocated NOT rewarding children for using the potty ( accept with praise of course.) The theory was that the fact that the child was dry was their reward. To me this makes perfect sense. Maybe because I am almost 29 and prefer dry underwear and not to be sitting in urine or feces. 

I applied this theory to behaviour as well. No rewards for good behaviour, the reward is that you acted nicely and society thanks you for it.  Saying this aloud ( moreover typing it) I see that this makes absolutely zero cents to a three year old. It barely sounds plausible to me. So, I am trying a few new methods. 

I had plans to make a big beautiful chore chart ( including desired behaviours, complete with stars and stickers, but it didn't happen.) I then read about the marble/ bead method and loved the notion. 

We found some beautiful rocks at our local science museum and I allowed him to pick out 17 rocks. 
( There really was no rhyme nor reason to the number 17, it was what fit in the pouch) Each time he does something good ( brush teeth, get dressed, plates and bowls to the sink, shoes on etc, with out trouble) he gets a rock in the jar. At the end of the day 10 rocks = something good ( he can watch a movie, extra bike riding time, special time with mom or dad, extra book before bed etc.) 

So far things have been good. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. He understands the meaning of the rocks and what he gets if there are 10 rocks. So far, I have only yelled once today.... 

1 comment:

  1. There are so many things that are great about this!! The motivating colorful rocks, the abstract gratification, with the bigger payout latter. I know some folks don't like the whole extrinsic motivation thing, bu I can tell you truly my husband wouldn't get up and bust his but at work all day without the extrinsic reward of a pay check. :) we all can use a little motivation!! :) I did this at school, and it worked well. It was a group effort! I plan to implement this at home too. Love love love it! Keep us posted!!