Today's edition of WFMW will focus on positive reinforcement (a.k.a. reward system). Marble jars are an easy yet effective way of praising young kids. Each one of my boys has their own plastic jar that is decorated with stickers to clarify whose jar belongs to whom. I use the smallest of my kitchen canisters to hold extra marbles.
My boys get marbles for various things, such as being kind, eating a good meal, being helpful, reciting a memory verse, etc. If they do something over-the-top fantastic, then they might get numerous marbles at one time. It takes a long to time to fill the jar, but when that happens, the boys are rewarded with something tangible. For example, Liam's first reward was a ticket to the Texas Rangers game with Daddy and Big Daddy.
As the boys get older, I may remove marbles for poor behavior. I haven't done that yet, because I want to focus on the positive at this time.
I recently began putting the jars on this serving tray, so that I can easily move the jars around the house for different activities. For instance, I take it to the table to encourage good table manners. I also move it to the floor when we're working on something such as a counting game.
This is also a cheap way of praising kids. I found our marbles at Hobby Lobby for $4, and I've also seen them at the Dollar Tree. The boys' plastic jars came from Wal Mart for $1.98 each. If you don't have a spare kitchen canister for the extra marbles, you could use any plastic bowl that you already own. The serving tray is optional but a nice bonus. The rewards can be any dollar amount that you set...an extra hug is free!
My boys love receiving marbles. If I don't think to give them one, they will remind me. Kids want to be praised!
For other helpful tips on making life easier, visit Shannon's blog.