Thursday, August 2, 2012

5 things that work: Part 2

Part two of:
Five Things that Work (right now) for Parenting (my) Two-and-a-Half-Year-Old
Read Part One Here
2. Sticker Chart.  

Oh, my friends.  This thing is magical. We went from having daily 20-minute-long tantrums - kicking and screaming - to an angelic princess who will obey most of the time and who is just generally sweeter than three weeks ago.  All for the cost of Target dollar section stickers.  Well, that and the Kohl's gift card I spent on the Grover firetruck which is her reward for filling in all the squares on the chart.

It's not an elaborate chart - I just drew a bunch of boxes and told her she can have a sticker when she follows the rules of our house.  She'll earn a sticker for things like not throwing a fit when it's time to leave the park (or friend's house or Target toy section or fill-in-the-blank), or eating a meal without a fight, or remembering to put her toys away without being asked, or saying please/thank you without a reminder, or going potty in the potty, or being kind to Ruby when she comes over, etc.  Sometimes I'll remind her beforehand, "Lila, if you eat all of your dinner without arguing, you can have a sticker!" Or sometimes I'll reward her after the fact, "Lila, you remembered to put your shoes in the basket without Mommy telling you to so you can have a sticker!"

Best $1 I've ever spent.  I am not above the well-earned bribe.  I imagine we'll become stingier with the stickers as she gets more habitual in her obedience.  The goal, as my dad says, is to "Get them to want what you want."  What I want is for her to eat healthy meals, to have less timeouts, to be safe and respectful.  And if it takes a few stickers to get her to want those things too, then I'm sticking with it!  (Pun intended!)

1 comment:

I am Bethany. said...

taking notes on this one.