Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Marble Madness

{Jonathan earned 75 marbles to "buy" a game for his PSP - marbles have monetary value}

Around our house, we have experimented with various methods of discipline, mostly trying to go the "positive reinforcement" route. The problem with kids is you constantly have to stay on top of the situation. {HMM} Go figure.

After talking with my sister-in-law [sil] about their current reward system, I decided to research doing it ourselves, taking into account all the things that would make it a success in our house.
Every household is different. Every parent is different. Even parents combined have a different parenting style than when attempting it solo. The same goes with kids. Each kid is different. They often have different motivations and even levels of motivations.

In our house we have four very different age ranges - middle school, elementary, preschool and toddler (which I won't even cover since Drew is still too little to participate).

The challenge has been trying to come up with one central system that they all can benefit from. I know some families have certain systems for older kids and younger kids. I'm the go the path of least resistance gal. If I can get it all accomplished in one streamlined manner, I'm on board with it!

So, I present to you our version of the marble system. Take it and use it for yourself if you want. Change it up and tailor it to suit the needs for your family.

To prevent misuse and abuse of the marble system, each kiddo has their own colored jar and even their own colored marbles. I got mine at Target. You can find them at any craft store.

Put together a binder filled with all the expectations and possible rewards they can accumulate. Things that are more difficult for one child may earn more marbles than the child who has no problem with said chore/goal (for example, Paige can earn more marbles for going straight to bed the first time. Ashley and Jonathan earn the bare minimum b/c this is a non-issue for them).

{the binder - the kids can check it any time to see how many marbles they've earned and what they can do to earn more}
We strive to give out marbles daily. Sometimes life happens and we don't get to it each evening. The kids are responsible for tallying their marble count. We verify that all marbles have been earned. Check.

Each Friday is payday. The kids can use whatever marbles they have earned to buy what's on the list in the book. Exceptions can be made to this rule.

{our reward system}

{the kids can earn different durations of video game time using their marbles}
The kids *can* lose marbles due to a variety of reasons, the main two reasons in our house are being disrespectful and using potty language.

One last thing I'm contemplating changing is that they can't use every last marble to cash in on an item. After not being able to take marbles away for poor behavior, I'm debating making it a five marble minimum. This is easier than making them do chores to make up for bad behavior.

So, if you are intrigued by this system, by all means try it and let me know how it works for your family. It, like anything else, has some kinks but is very effective overall. The kids have responded well to it and look forward to accumulating marbles and rewarding themselves with whatever they want from the list.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today we headed out to the park to don our green and avoid pinches. We met up with some friends and let the kids run wild. Two days ago it was freezing, today it's nearly 80. That's Texas weather for ya!

{this is all Paige did. run.}

{Mia, my friend Cindy's little girl}

{and Andres, her little boy. Can you guess he got dressed all by himself?}

{More? Thanks. This Tilamook cheese is my favorite!}

{Jonathan keeps running back and forth - "Can we go home yet? It's hoo-ooot!"}

{Ashley playing on my phone. Is this any big surprise to anyone?}

Monday, March 9, 2009

Oh, what a relief!!

{the finished project}

Some months ago, Jonathan came home with a project he had been working on in class. It wasn't quite a relief map, so much as it was different kinds of play-doh representing bodies of water, land, and other kinds of geography. Though he was proud of his creation, I couldn't get him to pose with his hard work!