Why puzzle pieces you ask?
Well, I was looking for poker chips at our local thrift store, and could not find any. But I did find a ton of puzzles, and they are small, and there are a ton of them, and they are super cheap if you get them at a thrift shop, so Why NOT?!
I have always had some type of reward system for my kids, but none of them stuck.
I wanted a system that I could use to reward them for chores and good behavior.
I wanted a system that I could use to keep track of media time.
I wanted a system that would make them face consequences for bad behavior.
I wanted a way to track allowance and teach my kids that time is money!
This is what I came up with. We have been doing it for about 6 months now and it WORKS, and it STUCK! Yay!
Like I said before, I went to a thrift store and got a puzzle that had about 1,000 pieces. I got a little bucket to keep them in, and I was done! Well, not quite done yet. I had to come up with the system. After trial and error, I think we have it all worked out. I have included our reward chart for you to use in your home if you wish, or you can come up with one on your own.
As you can see from the chart that the kids can earn tokens by doing their chores, getting caught being good, a clean bedroom every day, and a daily tidy up of the room they are in charge of for the week. Other things we added to the list in the fall were things like Homework done, reading done, etc.
I also use the tokens to discipline my children when they make wrong choices, like fighting with their siblings, lying, not listening to mom or dad, etc. They really hate giving up their tokens and it makes them think twice.
The thing I love most is the control I have over media. Media in my home includes anything that runs on a battery (cell phone, iPod) or has to be plugged in (TV, XBox). The kids have to use the timer and when 15 minutes is up, they have to get off or pay more tokens, depending on what mom says.
My children are in charge of keeping track of their own tokens, which teaches them organization and management. When we go to a store and my kids say, “Can I get a treat mom?” or “Can I PLEEAASSEEE get this?” I say, “How many tokens do you have?” So simple. If they have enough, they pay me when we get home. I also remind them that if they spend all their tokens, they are sacrificing other things. Works like a charm. They usually contemplate how much they want to spend.
This has really worked for my family especially since money has been tight. I am not paying for so many little things anymore. The kids are thinking more about what they spend their tokens on. They are learning priorities. They are learning that their behavior has consequences, good or bad. And I LOVE it!
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