Thursday, July 18, 2013

Positive Reinforcement!

Several people have seen my fridge, and it has these charts (below) 
taped on it, the "jobs" do not seem like jobs at all, and if not explained,
well, you might think I'm super easy on my kids or something silly like that
One of our children's therapist suggested we come up with a positive reinforcement chart
to help work on those troubled areas. 
 Now, this particular child
has things like, No physical harm done to anyone, and some easy ones like 
practice piano.

When you have 6 kids, well, everyone wants a chart (except the baby)
So we came up with 5 things each child needed to work on
Just 5
We first did 10 and it was not attainable, we want it to be positive, 
so we tweaked it a little and made it only 5

This is Jedi's
Each child has their own 5 things
Easy, right?
You'd think.
If each child does their 5 things 
They get a ticket!
There is the potential to get a ticket each day!
Exciting, right?

 The tickets are then redeemed for one of the items on the list, 
These are kid thought up and not all worth money, but time.
I've found though, that the more tickets they have,
 the more money they want us to spend
Like no one wants to waste 21 tickets on going to the park and picnicing
Jedi likes to earn 7 tickets and spend it on i-Tunes songs each week.
The girls want to save lots and go big!

Teaching Thoughtfulness

A Nickel for Your Thoughts
(We started with only a penny, but found it just was not that much)

We decided we needed to do something to teach 
the kids to be thoughtful and helpful.
We want it to come natural to them, 
if they see someone who needs help, we want them to help,
without being told to help.

So, this summer we've been noticing every time they are helpful, 
without being told, or thoughtful, without being told,
they get a nickel.  

It is up to them to remember how many nickels they earn, 
and when they get up to 20, they can cash in and get a dollar.
(so we are not physically handing out nickels each time, it's more of a counting game)

So, if one child is struggling to carry something and 
another child offers to help--NICKEL!!

If I'm getting out of the van and have things to carry and babies to get out,
and a child offers, "Do you need help mama?" NICKEL!!

If there is only one pancake left and someone else wants it, but you got it first,
and you decide to give it to the other person--NICKEL!!

You get the idea, right?

It has helped us, as parents, to notice the good things they all do
(and all kids do)
and hopefully,
 it has helped with that automatically wanting to be thoughtful and helpful 
(it's also teaching counting by 5's to my almost 2nd grader!)

These are not "Job Charts" but Positive Reinforcement charts!  
They have jobs that they each do each day and each week, 
but that is expected, this is extra.  

I'm not saying you should do this,
 just giving an example of what is working for our family
An idea.
It has to be easy, or I can't do it.
I've done things in the past 
and it ends up being too much work for me 
to keep track of, 
These are simple and easy
and the kids keep track.

I do monitor the tickets, I have the tickets
they come to me and let me know if they get one and I sign it.


  1. Love this! A lot! You inspire me, friend!

  2. Hope it works!!! I did something like this a couple of summers ago.
    These days...I am the boss and they listen to me or they will do JOBS all day. If they are

    Prayer has been a big topic and we have been trying to pray more individually and as a family.

    ...and I also told them they will all go to hell if they are not nice...ha..just kidding!!!just.a.little.

    1. Yes, it works, we've been doing it all summer!

      "Positive reinforcement: are the key words here, not extra jobs. Extra jobs are consequences of bad behavior. The kids still get into trouble, but we are working on the positives, the good they do, and it encourages them to do more.

    2. I know I know. That was the focus with Jonah also getting his work done on time. It DID seem to work better when there was a positive goal to work towards vs. taking away video games when work did not get done.

      I was just joking around..trying to be funny.

    3. Oh, I know. We DO still do negative stuff!! (HAHA)

  3. Jamie Jo, this has been on my mind A LOT- intentionally doing good versus force. I like your approach. You would think 5 items would be simple but knowing my kids, it wouldn't be. ;) And Christine, sometimes I too want to scream out, "You WILL go to hell!" Kids...

    1. I have one that lies now...she would not even get into trouble for the things she's lying about, but she DOES get into trouble for the lie!! I tell her it's a sin and if sin leads to HELL...she needs to be sorry,'s her age I know.

  4. I like the positive reinforcement. Don't we ALL need it? Bad habits are hard to break and once we get the pattern going, doing good is just so much easier. It's that initial jump start for the little ones.


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