In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chips aren’t just for playing poker

Starting today I am implementing a new discipline/reward system for the 3 little’s….out of necessity and for the sanity of all the adults that live in this house…or at least for me, who is with them the most these days. :)

Actually, I should say that it’s new to the little’s but it’s something I did way back when my 5, now grown children, were growing up. The thing is it really works and I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to remember it. :)’s the day.

We have poker chips…a different color for each of them, with the Letter to their name written on them. I even have the chips I used for each of my older kids. The little’s happen to think that’s pretty cool.



They will earn chips for good listening and behavior, doing their daily chores such as making their bed, putting clothes away and cleaning up toys, good manners, playing good together and by themselves in their rooms, doing things without being asked, being cooperative, coloring or other type of crafts, reading books, getting physical exercise, helping when asked…basically anything that is positive….and us catching them using positive behavior and making good choices.

Since little man is in school, we will be giving him chips for going to school and choosing good behaviors and staying out of the better choice chair, doing his homework, putting his belongings away, eating his lunch at school,  sharing about school…ect.

All of these things give them many opportunities to earn chips.

These chips will earn them TV, computer or special time away with one of us, such as to the store or farm or doing an activity with us, of their choosing. Down the road it will earn them more opportunities to do things, like go to a friends house or to have a friend over.

They will put their chips in the bucket whenever they want to watch something on TV or a video.



One half hour show or of computer time will cost them 3 chips. A movie will cost 10 chips. Getting to go some place special, like the park or for hot chocolate, will cost 10 chips also. Having pajama day will cost them 20 chips. Believe me, little lady will be happy to do this one, since she fights getting dressed EVERY single day.

Just as they can earn chips by positive things, they can lose chips for negative behaviors. Depending on the greatness of the infraction, they will lose a certain amount of chips.

If they lose all their chips and then have an infraction which requires them to pay me a chip or more, they will have to go to time away or the better choice chair, until they can think of some things they can do to earn more chips. Once they have paid me back, they will be encouraged to think of more ways to earn chips, such as a sincere apology or doing an extra chore or doing something nice for someone. 

After school and nap time today, they each decorated and put their name on their own can. This is what  they will keep their chips in as they earn them.



Even though we mainly let them watch the PBS channel, they don’t really ever just sit while watching and it is educational, I don’t like them watching that much TV. I want them to get physical exercise by playing and reading books and using their imaginations daily.

I also want to lessen the negative behaviors and get them to see the rewards of making good choices. I do not expect them to be perfect behaved children but I do have high expectations for them.

It just seems like with the change of weather and us being inside more, the TV is coming on more often and they have been acting up more towards each other. It seems I or one of the other adults in this house are constantly having to get after at least one of them for negative behaviors or for not doing their chores.

It is no secret that little lady is a handful & a half and right now she is in much need of an attitude adjustment. I’m not kidding. How can one little girl be so darn sweet, funny & cute one minute and so impossible and exasperating the next?

The other night when I was to my wits end with her, I started to think about what I did when my other kids were young…and then the light came on and I remembered how effective this had been for not only nipping the TV watching, but encouraging them to make better choices. But most of all, it kept me from having to get after them every other minute.

I’ve talked to the little’s about the chips and what we are going to do with them, for the past couple of days. Today I dug and found the chips. Hip hip hooray!

I started with the younger 2 this morning. So far they each earned enough to watch one 30 minute show. Their behaviors this morning were much better and I didn’t have to get after them because all I had to do is take a chip away. Little lady had 10 chips and within 15 minutes lost all of them. Ugh! It didn’t take her long to think of ways to earn more chips so I think she has the idea.

Let’s just say she woke up from her nap very determined to earn some more chips. After all, she has been waiting to watch It’s the great pumpkin Charlie Brown, which airs tonight. She is absolutely crazy about Snoopy and is right now at this moment, working very hard to ensure that she has the 6 chips needed for her viewing pleasure.

Wish us luck with this. I am sure we will have to tweak it a bit along the way but at least it’s a start. I really hope it works as well as it did the first time around.

Tell me, what are or were, some of your little tricks to encourage good behaviors in your children?  How do you or did you handle TV watching for your children? Do you or did you have a child that tested your limits often? How did you handle them?

Please share what has worked or is working for you! . I am always looking for new idea’s! Thank you!

Hope your Thursday has been as thrilling as mine has. :)

Until next time, hugs & love, Lori


Brian Miller said...

nice. i help a lot of the parents i work with put in a behavior mod system...sound like you have one that works...interested to see how they respond

Brittany said...

you're a genius ma!

Anonymous said...

I know many parents who have similar systems! Good luck with it.

And I hear you about kids being sweet one minute and totally exasperating the next!

slommler said...

I used a daily chore chart and everyone in the household was on it. Everything was scheduled..up to and including taking care of the baby..our granddaughter!! It worked and kept everyone happy. No one felt they had the lions' share of the work...namely me!! Ha!
Good luck on your system...sounds great!

SciFi Dad said...

I think this idea is great for some kids. We don't use anything special, really; time outs for severe infractions (the step for my two year old, and my five year old goes to her bedroom) and little else. We're fortunate in that neither kid pushes the limit TOO often, though.

Jeannie said...

My kids watched a lot of tv - but they could only watch shows I liked. They also played a lot of video games. (One is an electrical engineer now so that's not so bad, another could have been but hated school). I know certain bad behaviours were related to too much tv & games. It got so the kids recognized the signs themselves - restlessness, crankiness, aggression - and they would monitor themselves and do something else. They had lots of kids in the neighborhood so they did play outside quite a bit - or games and such inside. My oldest was and still is a handful at 29. I always said it was good that he hadn't chosen a life of crime because he would be a drug lord in no time.

I do love your idea though - I think it might have worked had I had the discipline to implement it.

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is an awesome idea.
Praise for positive behavior is so much better than fussing at bad behavior.
I used to do something similar to this when the girls were little...we used a chart on the fridge.

ps. Where can I get a "better choice chair"? :)

Buckeroomama said...

I love the idea!! I might just have to borrow this. =)

We're doing reward stickers and points system (with J --similar concept with your chips, but no physical thing to give or take away; I just either announce or write how many points he has).

With TV, I just set the foot down and announced that there is no TV from Sunday to Thursday. They get to watch on Fri and Sat --if they remember to ask, that is! Oh there was whining when I first implemented that, but they've so gotten used to it now that they sometimes even don't ask on days that they could watch. =)

Have a wonderful weekend!

The Incredible Woody said...

What a wonderful idea! And I seriously love the 'better choice' chair!! I know some adults that need to sit for a while...

Hilary said...

Sounds like a great system. When my kids were in elementary school, the admin had a very similar system in place called "Catch a Child" which was.. catch a child doing something good. Kids were also encouraged to report their peers' good behaviour. Good luck, Lori.

Jen said...

My daughter was super easy when she was younger. I have no idea how I got so lucky. This system sounds like a good one. Good luck with it.

gram said...

very good idea with the chips... have lots of your reading to catch up on, just a quick stop by and a hello. take care....have to get back into blogging again when i'm not soo darn busy....

Rick said...

I hope that my wife doesn't use the same system for me. I might have to give up the remote.

Katherine said...

Such a cool idea, amazing :)

K xx

Unknown Mami said...

I think it's a great system. I didn't have this at home when I was growing up, but I had a teacher that implemented a similar system in our classroom and it was awesome. At the end of the year if we had any coins (he called them bluebacks) he would have an auction and we could bid on items.

Olya Olegovna said...

so most of them likes your informative blog. play-pokeronline

Lynda Meeks said...

An update, please! I just had the idea to do this with my 8 year old and would like to know how it worked out.