Preconception, I was pretty sure that I would never use reward systems in my house.
Hello--you do chores because it is part and parcel of being part of the family.
Rule by example, and the children will follow.
Then reality guffawed quite audibly in my face and let me walk out of the proverbial parenting suite with toilet paper on my shoe.
I am no longer above dangling metaphorical carrots in front of my children's faces in order to get them to do stuff. (Actually, those carrots need to be bathed in butter and dripping with honey. And for Miles, those carrots need to magically turn into[fill in a carbohydrate] slathered with Nutella.)
My kids are pretty good at doing things because that's.just.what.you.do to be considered "hygienic" and "civilized", but when we take Marc Summers's physical challenge every morning before and after work/school, we need some structure. (Instead of green slime and milk-like substances, it's all about slingshotting feces and dodging boogers.)
And because crating isn't an option, I've resorted to a "ticket" system.
I found some cute (free!) bathroom printables from Over the Big Moon. I had to snuggle up to Word and Wingdings to mock up some additional ones like "No Fussing", tag each one as morning or evening (sun or star), and put their names on the back.
Here is how it works:
You complete a ticketed task, then you find your personalized ticket and put it in a special box.
3 tickets = 1 book at night.
You transgress, and you lose a ticket.
Tonight, Miles earned 7 tickets.
He counted his tickets in "threes" and determined he earned 2 books.
We talked about how many more tickets he needed to get another book.
You know...I'm all academically deceptive.
It's like hiding zucchini in brownies, except not as delicious.
Felix lost all of his earned tickets because he won an Oscar with his Sally Field's at the end of Steel Magnolias cemetery scene breakdown when he refused to get out a diaper for bedtime.
And then refused to put his dirty clothes into the laundry basket.
And then threw the floss into the toilet.
And then picked his nose...and ate it.
And then told me he loved me.
And then all was forgiven.
But he didn't get the tickets back--"too bad so sad" is our mantra in these parts.
My goal is to see if this ticket system can last longer than that whole 52 weeks of mail. I've learned I am really good at starting things, but have some commitment issues with "follow-through."