Let’s start this post of by saying, I am not a fan of rewards. I dislike everything about them, I mean seriously nobody gives me a Smartie every time I go to the bathroom. I never thought rewards were something I wanted to do. That was until I was at a meeting and somebody said, my paycheck is my reward for going to work. Well Crap!! I never looked at it from that point of view. That person shook my little world. If you didn’t get paid when you went to work, you probably wouldn’t do it. Good point!
So now I have changed my thinking. But I am not going to call it rewards, rewards still sounds awful to me. I am going to call it motivation, everybody needs a little motivation, even children. I have created a Motivation wall in my kitchen. So far my children love it and it is certainly helping me out, they are doing all sorts of things to help out. Love it!
Here is how our motivation wall works:
Each child has a piece of Bristol board with their name on it, I choose bright neon colors and hung them in the kitchen, so that they will be reminded that they are there every time they pass them. Our stickers work in a couple ways, they can be given for helping out around the home, they acknowledge a child who has anxiety when she does something that is fearful/worrisome to her, they help another child who is trying to control her emotions/behaviour, or if they do something for someone else that is helpful/thoughtful. Stickers help you to earn things, now for the most part what they can earn is not item or money related but is time with family/parent doing an activity or outing of their choice. It works like this, if you earn 10 stickers you can get a small item that I have already purchased, they can chose what they want from the “Small item Bucket”, these are items from the dollar store. If you earn 25 stickers, you can go out on a date, one on one, with Mommy or Daddy. If you earn 75 stickers you can do an outing of your choosing such as bowling, the beach, etc. I have left extra space in case they think of something else they want to add. The hope is that they will “save” up there stickers for the bigger items. It may also teach them that you have to work hard, save for what you want and it takes time to get it.
So far, so good. They are very anxious and are counting up how many more stickers they will need to get what they want. Here’s hoping the motivation keeps them going.