Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Token Reward System

As most parents know, or will soon find out, we often have to change how we discipline our kids.  Children try to test their limits every now and then, or get new video game consoles we have to regulate, etc.  Well, I have reached that point again when I need to try something new.  I remember discussing a Token Economy in one of Psychology college courses and thought it might be a great way teach my children about earning privleges.  It is also a great tool for teachers to use to help enforce class rules.

I hit the keyboard and right away found a PDF file all about building a Token Economy.  The file includes checklists and ideas on how to get your own Token Reward System started.  So, I decided to try it out with my kids.

I went to the store today and picked up a 2-pack of medium Ziploc Twist 'n Loc storage containers for my two oldest kids and wrote their names on them with a permanent marker.  My husband had 200 old plastic poker chips that he had never used stashed in the garage that I designated for the tokens.  I am keeping all the undistributed tokens in a plastic storage container I already have and labeled it as the Bank.  I am going to keep the Bank stored where the kids cannot reach it, just in case they try to get clever and snag tokens on the sly. 

Next, I plan to create charts to display listing:
  • Rules - Complete Chores, Be Honest, No Back-Talking and Do As You are Told.
  • Token Values - Completed Chores - 2 tokens, Honesty - 1 token, etc.
  • Rewards - 10 minutes TV time - 1 token, 5 minutes of Video Games - 1 token, etc.
I will also keep a running tally of how many tokens they each have and post it on our dry erase board on the fridge.

I am hoping this will encourage good behavior just in time for summer.  If not, I'll have to try something else and don't worry I'll blog about it of course.   

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