Rewards for Children
I swear by this “magic motivator!” I took some jars and wrote my children’s names on them. Every time my children are good mannered, respectful, or obedient, I reward them with a Popsicle stick in their jar. Whenever they are rude, defiant, or disobedient, I remove a stick from their jars. Once my children have earned a certain number of Popsicle sticks they get a small reward. We have a “treasure chest” loaded with small inexpensive toys and prizes. Our children are allowed to look inside the chest anytime they want. This keeps their eyes on the prize – focused and motivated.
I believe that there are two reasons that this method is so effective with my kids. The first reason is obvious – my kids are excited and motivated to win the prizes. However, the second reason is slightly less obvious. I think that the Popsicle sticks help my children visualize their behavior. A full jar is a pretty good indicator that their behavior is great and an empty jar shows them that they are missing the mark. This helps my children self-correct.
Now, I will offer this one word of warning: Do not use the Popsicle stick reward system as a replacement to more traditional methods of discipline. I use them as a positive supplement. While I still spank my children or put them in time-out from time to time, I have noticed a drastic decrease in bad behavior since I started implementing my Popsicle stick jars.
I hope this tip helps. There are hundreds of variations to this system. If you use a different “magic motivator,” please leave a comment sharing your technique. I am always looking for new “effective” ideas.
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