Monday, March 16, 2009

Sticker Solutions

After three weeks of our behavioral experiment in sticker incentives, my daughter is well versed in what's expected of her and usually fulfills her resposibilites with little hassle.

There are still the attempts to negotiate the actual amount of a meal she needs to eat, and the occasional need to hurry her along as she plays with everything she passes as she meanders upstairs to get dressed, but she is definitely earning the stickers on a more consistent basis.

Every 3-4 days, we will miss them, but the situation has greatly improved.

The added element of the sticker incentive program is to give her a big, princess after she manages to gain all of her happy face stickers for the day. It's a reward for a good day and she adds it to her chart to remind her of all the good days she's had. It's also a solid short term incentive (as opposed to "at the end of every week....").

I know I have mentioned my feelings on rewards for good behavior. We all are motivated by rewards (a thank you note, a paycheck, reputation, etc), and so this is a practice in keeping with the "real world" too.

However, I have no intention of applying that approach to grades. As my children get older, I am pretty sure I will be dispensing hugs instead of stickers, as my parents did. I think that's because I hope my children will work hard to be rewarded by their own sense of accomplishment and pride. Honor roll, teacher compliments, and their own motivation and work pride.

"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then, I contradict myself.
(I am large. I contain multitudes)."

-from "Song of Myself"

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