I’m always looking for new ways to use positive reinforcement when it comes to the boys. I’d rather encourage them with the promise of fun than drive myself insane yelling and arguing all day… I mean, who wouldn’t? Unfortunately when you’re only one person trying to keep the house clean, cook something nutritious, make a doctors appointment and write a shopping list while trying to juggle the demands of three really unreasonable tiny human beings, it’s easy to get worked up. Of course, then the kids get worked up and before long we’re all yelling and crying and everyone needs a nap. Especially me.
Making this jar became a good way to keep our rewards in plain sight. It sits on the counter as a reminder of the fun things we could be doing. The idea is simple, grab some popsicle sticks and write down some small rewards on them. Put them in a jar and allow your kids to choose one when they deserve something special. When using ours along with behavior chart, if the kids reach the very top they get a special surprise from the jar.
When I was making this jar I had some trouble thinking up rewards. I didn’t want to go too big. It’s easy to buy the kids a new toy or game, I wanted these rewards to focus on family time. They had to be easy to put together and special enough to entice them. It look me some time to come up with these, but it’s been a really good motivator so far, and it’s easy to add new rewards in as you think them up (and to remove ones that clearly worked out better in your head).
Need some ideas for your own rewards jar? Here’s some of our favorites:
Build a fort
Buy a new book
Breakfast for dinner
Backwards lunch (allows them to eat their snack before their lunch)
Picnic Lunch/Dinner (we picnic on the living room floor during the winter)
Stay up 15 minutes later
Family Game Night
Make Cookies (this is so easy if you remember to keep a package of Pillsbury cookie dough in the fridge!)
You pick dinner (be prepared for requests that involve candy. You may want to lay out some guidelines first)
Put up tents
Tea Party Lunch (my favorite, tiny sandwiches + hot or iced tea served in tiny mugs!)
Play a Computer Game
After dinner walk (This is usually just me and whichever child chose the reward, getting time alone is a luxury when you have a house full of brothers!)
Skip one chore
I try to add new rewards often so that they stay interested. What kind of rewards would your kids be most excited about?
Don’t forget to go here to see my free printable behavior chart and don’t forget to check out the rest of my Back to School series, all August long, for more school themed reviews, crafts, gifts and recipes!