Lately I have been having a hard time staying totally “sane” because both M and C were asking about 30 questions an hour. M was always asking “what are we going to do, now?”
The constant questioning about what to do told me three things:
- They both wanted some structure
- M did not know how to entertain herself
- I needed to help them want to play alone
The solution? I put in place a reward system and a schedule. After testing out several different ways to help them know what’s coming next, I finally found something that works for both of them. (*Sigh* the convenience 😉 )
M is here all day, but C doesn’t get here until after school about 315. So I made a clock and we call her “schedule clock.” she doesn’t read time, yet, so instead of numbers we have pictures of everything that we’re going to do, and in which order. After we do one thing, she gets to move the red arrow under the item we’re doing next. The schedule clock is something that M just does, and C doesn’t.
The Popsicle Stick Rewards
I, also, strongly believe in positive reinforcement and motivation over negative reinforcement. So I found something that is affordable for me, and the kids really seemed to love. I colored about 40 Popsicle sticks and after they do certain things they get to put a Popsicle stick in their pocket. For example, they don’t seem to like their veggies (who does), so when they eat vegetables they get a stick.
Ways They Can Earn
Here are the ways that M&C can earn their sticks of course you can and should customize it so that it works best with your kids
- Eating their vegetables
- Cleaning up
- Being respectful
- Doing their school work (M has 30 minutes to an hour of school work here at home, C goes to elementary school)
- C gets a stick if he doesn’t wake M while she naps
- Asking questions only once
At the end of the week on every Friday they get to have the store with several different kinds of prices. I don’t have any pictures from last week, which was our first store, but they were each able to get two or three little prizes with their sticks.
- Bouncy balls
- Small toy cars
- Bubble gum
- Small pieces of candy
- Little erasers
- Miniature toys
You can usually fill up a small prize bin, enough for four or five kids for a couple of months of under ten dollars. I try to get to know the kids before buying the prizes so I know they will like their options. This month, I only had about five dollars for prizes, so I got some really “gender- neutral” toys. Next time, I plan to get some more “gender- specific” prizes, too.
It has taken a few weeks, but I have finally found something that works well for these kids.
***How do you help your child know what’s next? Does he/she constantly ask you questions? What did you do.***