March 04, 2013

Mommy School - positive reinforcement ideas

Before we get started, I have our Silhouette random winner.  If you didn't win and you want to take advantage for the promo, you can find the details on THIS POST.  Thanks!


My kids kind of go through cycles.  I imagine that most do.  I'll have a great stretch with one of them and then we hit a rough spot.  The challenges are different with each child, but when we hit one I like to think of different ways to get us through it.

Back when Rex was younger I made this "Good Boy Passport" with him.  He loved it and I haven't made him one in a while, so I think we'll try that again soon.  You can read all about it HERE.

Baden's struggles are a lot different than Rex's.  He's naturally sensitive, cautious, and shy.  For him I made this "Brave Bear" worksheet.  When he does something brave, he gets to color in a bear.  For him that might mean talking to someone he doesn't know, or not crying when I drop him off at preschool, or doing anything that puts him out of his little comfort zone.

He has loved coloring the bears.  This is the second one we've done.  When he completes it we do something fun together or I buy him something little.  I usually try not to buy things for Rex because his demands are higher, but Baden is ecstatic about getting a rubber ducky from the dollar bin.  That's what he wanted this time.  I can handle that :)

Honestly, as a mother I go through cycles too.  I'll feel like I'm doing well for a stretch and then I get a bit overwhelmed.  When I feel overwhelmed I notice that there are more time outs and my parenting feels less effective.  That's when I like to try something new like these ideas.  It helps the boys and me as well.  I find that they do a lot better with positive reinforcements and when they have something they can visually work toward.  I also like to switch it up and try new things with them.  Even the best ideas seem to wear out after a lot of use.

Here are a few other things I've seen online that I think would be fun to try out.

I love this good deed punch card found HERE at eighteen 25.

I've heard a few people mention bed time passes.  For good behavior your child is awarded 10 minutes to stay up later.  I found a this cute printable for it HERE.

Is there anything you've tried that was really helpful with your kids?  I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks for dropping in.


Anonymous said...

I found with my daughter (who is now six) we went through a shift a year or two ago with the whole girl/attitude thing. She might do what we were requiring her to do but jeepers, the attitude we got when she was doing it was brutal. So we came up with a "good attitude" chart and basically for every day she had where her attitude was good - she was cheerful; helpful; did what we asked without complaining or stomping - she got a sticker on her chart.

I think we came up with a few things - for ten stickers she got to walk to the corner store with the family to get a popsicle. When she got 20, we rode bikes to the ice cream store. Things like that - the keys were that she needed to demonstrate a good attitude throughout a day (not just isolated incidents - she is old enough now that it's a reasonable expectation) and the rewards were something that we celebrated as a family. I wanted her to get that her attitude influenced all of us and that when it was good we all really rejoiced with her.



Unknown said...

hello. I apologize first, I use a translator because no English.
To encourage my son to small degrees or no urine escaped him in bed I Use stickers. When he wakes up with the bed was dry on his breakfast had a chrome, and when the bed was wet unfortunately there was sticker, and he alone put the bedding washed.
By email I will send you a weekly motivational quadrant.
I love your blog.

Unknown said...

These are great ideas - I'm excited to try a passport with my son. I recently read "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk" it had some great ideas for dealing with those everyday struggles with kids. I highly recommend it.

Lindsey said...

They all grow up. :) They all out grow their phases. This I tell myself I am wishing we had a nighttime routine nanny for my 3 kids, just for 30 minutes *grin*.

I think the hardest thing I struggle with as a parent - Remembering my kids are all different. I know they are different- but it is that whole calling #3 by #1's name, but you know you are talking to number #3. I struggle that I have to sometimes have 3 parenting styles. Some days, I don't have the mental energy to be 3 different versions of myself- as my kids have gotten older, they see that their rewards/punishments are different for each child- and they argue over the fairness. However with discussing how each child has their own quirks, we probably have come closer together - and all learning who has what buttons one can push- you just can't push one button, gotta hit them all! *chuckling*

They will all grow up, and outgrow their phases. (repeat as needed!)

Earth Momma Mer said...

I read the book "Scream Free Parenting" recently and it really helped me refocus on my attitude. I agree with your thought that I also go through cycles of thinking I'm in control to times when I feel out of control. It's hard to get a balance all the time through the year since the boys are always growing and able to handle different things. I also have two boys, 4 and 7 so I can relate to a lot of your blog! We also use a bean jar for positive reinforcement. I bought a bag of lima beans and everytime they are caught doing something good (or it can be anyone in the family) they get to put a bean in the jar. Once a small jar is filled, we go out to dinner as a family. Then the small jar is dumped into a huge jar that is marked with three lines. (It's more of a big vase size.) First line was Family Camping Night (in our living room), next is Aquarium in the boys room and the final top line is Family Trip to Great Wolf Lodge!

Anonymous said...

Like Lindsey said; they will grow out of it. True, but you also need to live thru it! It's hard sometimes to realize that each child is an individual person, each has their own personality and deals with how you indiscipline. Admittedly my kids are now grown but having raised 4 children I look back (now that my kids are having kids) and see what they are doing differently. Our oldest daughter has 3 kids and the youngest (just like our 3rd child) is very tender hearted. If you come down on him too hard he will break into tears. But, he also needs to realize when he has broken the rules. Our daughter also does an incentive jar, where the kids earn a colored pom-pom ball for each act of kindness, doing something they were asked right away (w/out argument etc..) and various other things. Also they may loose a ball when they act out etc... and then when the jar is full they earn a date with mom/dad. They really do cherish the time with their parents alone. It's a special time. My hubby and I have also started doing a date with the grands one on one for their birthday. They get enough presents from all the rest of the family toys etc... so we do some sort of activity that is a surprise! We have fun, they have fun waiting to see what the date will be and then they continue to talk to family/friends/who ever will listen about it for weeks after! It's been fun for us too! Sorry this got a bit long. Jean C.

Delia said...

Great ideas! I love how you cater your parenting techniques to each child so well. You are an inspiration!

Team Tindle said...

I don't agree that kids "grow out of" difficult areas. Kids usually grow into poor habits. I think you're doing a great job, consistently encouraging your children to change in areas that are difficult for them and not just writing it off as part of their personality and something that can't be overcome. My little son Logan used to be pretty timid. Never wanted to go on stage during church presentations. Didn't like to participate in class. He would literally fall over on his bike because he rode it so slowly that there wasn't enough momentum to keep him up, even with training wheels. It took a lot of encouragement, some limits and a lot of talking but this year he turned eight and had the lead role in a play. Of course now, he'll argue with a fence post and nothing anyone says can ever be left alone; for instance, "The sky is blue." "Well, ACTUALLY the sky is sometimes red and purple and black." So that is the area that we are currently working on. He'll get there:) Oh and a little tip, grab a pen and paper write down your goals for your boys. Be specific in the things that you would like to see them develop in their little characters. Put it in an envelope and write the date on it to open a year from now then stick it in a drawer and forget about it. You'll be amazed at the growth you'll see in a year. Have fun today! LT

Tina said...

Thanks for sharing! I love these ideas. We are rasing a granson who is now 7yrs old. He struggles with impulse control. I agree that a positive approach is so much better for all involved. A couple of years ago I made a sticker chart titled, "Robbie doing good things". (hmmm, I'd forgotten about that) It worked so much better than focusing on the negative. He could see he success as he worked toward his goal. I think I will use some of these great ideas you and your readers have shared, to work on his impulse control. Oh, ya...what is it with saying "poop, fart, diaper", etc. He thinks it's so funny! I'm relieved to read that he is not the only one! LOL. I'm so glad I read this post!

Unknown said...

I absolutely love the idea for the bedtime pass! I am definitely going to implement that ASAP:)
I use a mason jar and pom pom balls as our positive reinforcement tool. Each kid has their own decorated jar and every time they do something good they get a pom pom in their jar. It's been a wonderful took for forming good habits as they look for ways to help now so they will get a pom pom. They enjoy watching their jars get more and more full. By giving them the visual of that it has proven better than any other method I have tried so far. I will be posting a how to with pictures by the end of the week :)


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