Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Button Jar

We have started a reward program in our house called "The Button Jar." Overall, Emma and Josh are good kids. They are, however, 2 year old toddlers which means they often don't have filter on their mouth, they like to run around without their clothes on and they will hit you if you are holding a toy they presume to be theirs.

To discipline, we do use timeouts and those seem to be somewhat effective. I wanted to find a way though to reward them for their good behavior so I started "The Button Jar."

The jar itself is just a mason jar with colorful buttons on it. I got both at Michaels. To start, I sat the kids down and explained to them that if I observe them listening, playing nicely, sharing, etc. I will give them a button. I then told them that after they collect a certain amount of buttons (the kids don't really understand numbers yet so I am not a stickler with the number of buttons.) they can earn a prize. I then showed them the prizes (which are all Dollar Store items.) Showing them the prizes turned out to be a big mistake because they asked for them ALL THE TIME. "Can we have a prize?" "Do I get a prize?" NO, you need more buttons!

We did the jar for a couple days and their first prize was an ice cream cup. 5 days later, they earned enough buttons to score their next prize, pictured below. Overall, I like this technique. I think I will be able to tweak it as they get older and understand more.

Do you have any reward systems that work for you?

The button jar and their jars on our mantle


Emma holding out her newest button

Josh and his button

Josh and his prize

Emma and her prize (tutu and fairy wings)

Running with their new prizes