After unsuccessfully trying a couple of ‘positive reward systems’ for the twins, I have discovered one that actually works for us! I thought I’d share it so that you can give it a shot. You never know, it might work for your family too!
I reward good behavior using pompoms. The kids can earn them in all sorts of ways, such as –
- being kind to each other
- playing nicely (including sharing toys)
- not beating the shit of each other
- using good manners (Flynn can often be heard saying “Thank you, Riley. So much!”)
- eating all of their meals
- not throwing food/cutlery/plates/bowls on the floor, or creating gravy handprints on the wall (these occurrences happen rather frequently, I’m afraid)
- listening with their ‘listening ears’ (as opposed to the ones that sometimes appear to be painted on)
- helping to tidy away their toys/things
- using the potty or the toilet (as an alternative to Flynn coiling one out in his bedroom and then rubbing it into the cream carpet with the doorstop…yes, that happened)
- Being kind to their furry sister, Bundy
I labelled up an old jar, in which I store the pompoms; then I labelled two plastic see-through containers for Flynn and Riley. Before I purchased the child-friendly tubs, I made sure that the twins could easily take the lids off and on, because that’s part of the attraction for them – being responsible for their own pompom collections.
I recycled a larger plastic box, filled it with cheap little toys and silliness, and labelled it up as ‘Pompom Prizes’. The twins know that if they earn enough pompoms to fill their own tub, they will be allowed to choose one prize from the box.
So far, it’s worked wonderfully!
The first couple of times, I handed out pompoms quite easily, in order for them to get the idea quickly and not lose interest in the process. They soon came to realise that they will be rewarded for doing good things.
I don’t take pompoms away for bad behaviour, but I have had reason to say “Oh well, that’s a shame. You won’t get pompoms if you behave like that…” which seems to do the trick.
I’d love to hear what systems you have in place for your kids. Please feel free to share your ideas.