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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WFMW: Positive Reinforcement: The ticket system

All children love positive reinforcement.  A hug, smile, sticker, or treat can all be ways of saying "good job" to our children.  In our home, we try to implement a mixture of tangible rewards while giving lots of hugs and high fives for a job well done.

If your home is anything like ours, you may have a day(or two) where you think " my children have completely forgotten all the rules I have taught them"! 

A couple of months ago, I realized that my girls had stopped obeying us the FIRST time.  I had taught them "first time obedience" when they were very little.  However, all of a sudden, I was having to ask several times before they obeyed or followed my direction. 

So, I set up a ticket system.  I hung up an envelope on the fridge with each daughter's name on it.  Each time the girls obeyed right away, they were given a ticket to put in their envelope.(or you can use small cut-up paper)  After dinner each night, we counted the tickets and the girls were rewarded with one small treat for each ticket.

Here's some practical steps for implementing the ticket system:

1.  Choose ONE specific behavior you want to see improved:  This could be saying "excuse me" instead of interrupting, saying " please" when asking for something, etc. .  It is important the kids have 1 behavior to focus on at a time. 

2.  Role model and practice:  I used some of the girls' dolls and pretended that one was the mommy and the other was the daughter.  The mommy doll gave a direction and the daughter doll obeyed right away.  Then, I had the girls pretend to play and quickly put their toy down and obey when I gave a direction. 

3.  Keep tickets in your pocket!  This makes it so easy!  Put tickets in your pocket in the morning.  When the kids earn a ticket, have them take it to the kitchen and put in their envelopes.  This way, you don't have to stop what you are doing!

4.  This is a math lesson!  If you are doing this with little children, let them practice counting the tickets at night.  This allows them to practice counting with one-to-one correspondence!

5.You don't have to do this forever!  Once you feel improvement has been made, then you can stop or switch to another behavior. But keep praising with hugs and kisses!

This post is part of " Works for Me Wednesday".

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