If you know me, then you know I am a big proponent of fun. I want to go everywhere and do everything. I’m always looking for the next adventure even when I’m already in the middle of the fun. It’s hard for me to really tone it down but ultimately I don’t want my child thinking he can just wish for something and it happens. I want him to understand that we must work for the things that we want. They just don’t magically happen.
Last year my son really wanted to go to Legoland. We already had Disneyland passes so I felt it was hard to justify taking him to Legoland “just because”. Instead, I made a plan. I told him that for every good choice he made he could put a mini lego in a mason jar. For every poor choice he made we had to take a mini lego out. Once the mason jar was filled up, he earned his trip to Legoland! It was such a satisfying experience for him. Especially it being something tangible and visual rather than just words floating around of “keep working on earning your trip to Legoland.” And honestly, it truly made the day at Legoland THAT much more enjoyable because he worked so hard for it.
I haven’t done anything since then because Summer came and behavior wasn’t such an issue as before. But now we’re halfway through the school year and truthfully my son has great days at school and some not so great ones. He came from a little tiny preschool where everybody wanted to be his friend. Now he’s at a school with so many kids that somehow already knew each other and it’s been a bit of a struggle for him.
His class has a system in place with a colored chart that reflects their behavior throughout the day. At the end of the day his teacher hands out “golden tickets” for those that earned them, and for every 15 they get to go to the treasure box. I have been trying to encourage making smart choices and being kind to everyone but of course my son isn’t perfect so some days he doesn’t receive one.
I’ve decided to incorporate a similar plan to what I had last year but instead of a jar with legos I made a chart. I know similar charts can be found at Target or most any store, but I wanted to make ours unique to our goal.
Braden knows that school is his job, so I have made the “golden tickets” his currency. Once he has received 25 “golden tickets” he can “buy” his ticket to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. I LOVE the idea of having a visual that he can look at on his wall every day for every ticket earned he can add a sticker to a square (there are 25 squares). Once he has filled in all of the squares – he will be on his way! Having something tangible he can add to it so he knows where he is on his journey to the aquarium is so helpful. Also this way we are focused more on the positive behavior rather than the negative. Which is where my energy needs to be focused as a parent in this season of our lives.
I’m attaching pictures below of what our chart looks like. It was super easy to create and not to mention a great project to work on together.
Do you have any reward charts in your help? What has helped positive behavior in your house? Would love to hear in the comments!