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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It’s All About the Reward

In the October/November issue of Today’s Family magazine, parent-writer Terri Skipworth managed to conquer “The Quiet Challenge.”  Below is a little bit of what her family experienced.  Oh, and don’t forget to check out her complete article by clicking on the picture of Today's Family magazine on the left. 

What I have learned over the years of having children is to never expect calm. There is always going to be something putting our already hectic schedule in turmoil. My thought behind wanting to do “The Quiet Challenge” was... teach our children how to communicate even when our lives are stressed.

My children are generally very good kids. They do well in school. They are kind to their friends. However, I could see the chaos spilling into the way they were reacting to each other.

As a family, we have found reward charts to be very effective. The kids really want to accomplish their goal and earn their reward; so they get upset when they think they did not earn a sticker. They do get reminders during the process. My general rule of thumb is that I will give them two tries to correct their behavior, if they still do not listen, they lose a sticker. Usually, a reminder is all it takes. In the end, they earned a trip to Puzzle’s Fun Dome.

After a honeymoon period, we did revert back to some old behaviors. So, we took the challenge again recently with great results. This time, we earned a trip to the movies. But, even I lost a sticker in this challenge.

We are never going to be perfect, but the reward charts help us to think about our actions. In the end, that might be the most important part.


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