Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Sticker Solution

In an attempt to address the daily war that was mealtime with my daughter, I gave up threats, surrendered negotiations, and even stopped begging as nothing proved effective.

I decided, instead, to try stickers.

A mom friend had mentioned downloading a goals chart from a nanny site to help with her own daughter's constant tantrums when bedtime approached. Though my challenge was very differemt, I figured I could also use a chart to address the eating habit problem along with the other regular headache: getting ready in the morning.

Instead of downloading a chart, O and I designed our own, fashioned by markers and a list of seven goals (eating each meal, setting the table, brushing teeth x2, and getting dressed). I threw in the table setting and brushing teeth because I wanted some sure things that would keep it positive and succesful (at least some times).

After a week, we've had lots of stickers, some set-backs, and a little girl driven by recognition and rewards, I can honestly say it's been a success. There are no more arguments at mealtime, and I find myself disbelieving the fact that it's working as well as it is. There are still some hurdles getting dressed, but that only happens when we have divergent views on what is fashionable.

I am shocked that a gimmick is working so well.

Now, I realize that there are those out there who believe reward incentive tactics undermine the lesson...children should do things because they want to or simply because it's the right thing, but I have never been one of those people.

When's the last time someone declined a paycheck just because showing up for work is just what's expected of them?

I'll let you know when the sticker excitement subsides.....

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