“Muuum! Have you done the points yet?”
That could any one of my children screaming at me. I think I need to change one of the behaviours on the list to ‘don’t nag mum about points’. Good. And for that you will get a point ?
In all seriousness the kids have enjoyed using The ‘Me’ Strategies.
I gave each of my children 5 tasks/behaviours and it was a rare thing for any of them to score 5 points in a day but they consistently got a 3. Sometimes a 2 or a 4.
(To get a point a child must show the desired behaviour or complete the desired task; so each child can only get a maximum of 5 points per day).
We first started these strategies during the school holidays so I was with them all day. When I confidently believed that a particular behaviour had changed for good I changed the behaviour/tasks on the scoreboard to reflect it.
My son now washes his hair without asking. It worked!!!!!
So when they started school I changed a couple of the tasks/behaviours to reflect that also. For example, my 6 year old is a reluctant reader so one of his tasks was to read everyday for 10 minutes.
Now, this parents is when you need to be on the ball. This is no longer about observation but active participation. So these strategies actually helped me not get slack about my 6 year old’s reading. Because you know when things just get too hard sometimes you just say “I’ll leave it for today”. Yeah that.
Also with the kids being in school meant that there was only a 4 hour window for me to see how my kids were going. So that made me get off this computer and hang out with my kids. Never a bad thing.
The other thing I found was that my nagging was in fact reduced. Because behaviours were brought to the fore, and I think there’s something about it being up on a board that helps kids focus, all that was required from me was a look if I thought any of them were starting to falter. Because it was front and centre of their mind too; not just mine.
My 8 year old was a little tricky sometimes. He was very excited at the start but he’s the one that loses interest (in anything) first. So while he was compliant to begin with, I wondered how long that would last. He did start to slip. His active involvement started to wane.
I asked Penny what happens if a behaviour hasn’t been met and it is still early in the day. What’s the incentive to try and improve for the rest of the day.
If he responds to one gentle reminder, it’s okay to get on with achieving the point for the rest of the day.
2. You don’t need to tell him he hasn’t earned the point until the end of the day, unless of course he asks. If he asks, and depends on how he wasn’t complying, you could suggest a good decision now will make more likely that he has gained this.
3. If he doesn’t respond, you can either show your nonjudgmental disappointment that he chose not to earn the point. If that means he loses interest in following that for the rest of the day, indicate that he might consider it good to practice what he is working at.
4. If he complies, knowing he hasn’t earned a point, a ‘wildcard’ can be used, for a good choice despite him not getting anything out of it (a surprise point).
5. At the end of the day, he may not comply for the rest of the day, but begin again tomorrow reminding him that it was a shame he missed a point.
So will I continue with The ‘Me Strategies? I think I will. I also think I need to take a break from it every now and then. I think if i kept it going constantly it would start to have the opposite effect. But I recommend it, I really do.