For a first draft and first attempts at a reward chart, it isn’t half bad. I even broke out the trusty ruler I’ve had since grade school.
I’ve struggled a lot lately with how to calmly parent/lead my trio through our day. It seems like they’re ganging up on me (which is entirely likely) because I don’t finish redirecting/disciplining/comforting one child for more than two minutes before the next is in frantic need of my attention. Around and around we go, where we stop, nobody knows.
I’m tired of yelling. I’m tired of issuing endless time outs. I’m tired of being tired of parenting.
The only thing that keeps me from declaring myself unfit is the fact that each of my babies reflect that they had a good day on the vast majority of days.
Clearly, my perception is different from theirs because there is one of me leading the three of them. Or maybe it’s because they recover from stress more quickly than I do.
Whatever it is, I want things to change. We recently started a sticker chart to promote a good relationship between one unnamed child and the toilet, and the other two have been begging for their own sticker charts. I quickly made up a simple chart rewarding stickers for No Time Out days, but the first time out hit the books before my Sharpie ink dried on the paper.
I gave up on that idea.
Then a friend suggested a positive reward chart, something to encourage all the good in them and push their focus toward happiness rather than rotten 3-year-old behavior.
I’m kidding. Sort of.
I quickly thought up some things we regularly praise largely for – being a “big helper,” cleaning up when asked, listening well to directions, random acts of kindness toward their siblings – and some things they need to work on. Rather than just making a big, verbal to-do over these positives, we’ll add a sticker with each praise as we go through the day. Once they fill a row, they’ll get … something. I haven’t decided yet, whether it’s a special date with me and/or Daddy, an inexpensive toy, a special dessert – you get the picture.
The time out sticker will be rewarded at the end of each day if they’ve gone all day without a trip to the corner. I know one who will regularly score stickers, and I’m hoping those stickers are motivation for two others who frequent the hot spot more than I’d like.
What charts/rewards/bribes/whatnot have worked with your tiny minions?