Wednesday, December 19, 2012

rowan week: the marble jar reward system

i was a little weary on trying out this idea - we had attempted it months ago and the whole concept of earning the the marbles or having them on the line when it came to behavior, went right over rowan's head. fast forward to last week and so far i am surprised at how well it is going!

i think if we had went about it the same way as last time, the results would have been the same, so here is what we did differently for rowan: i pre-bought her prize, ideally i was planning on letting her pick it out but then i saw this for a steal and knew it was part of a toy she has at her dads that she loves, so i knew it would be a winner. now that we had the "prize" it was put on display as a reminder, right next to the marble jar. i had purchased it before i had the rest of my idea in motion, so it sat on the counter for a good two days drawing a lot of intrigue from rowan who practically drooled with excitement every time she looked at it.

next, tim and i came up with a set list of expectations and chances to earn a bead - that way the guidelines were clear and it would hold me accountable for not randomly threatening to take away marbles and then forgetting about it. we went into this agreeing it wouldn't be black and white - she didn't need to perfectly meet each one to earn a marble, that is why i worded a lot of them "...the best i could." we want rowan to succeed and feel the excitement of reaching her goal and getting her prize, so we are in no way supporting a fail here but if it takes her three months then it takes her three months.

this first fill up at least, we are using large marble/gems - this way it will fill much faster giving rowan the chance to succeed quickly without loosing interest and feel the excitement of getting her prize so that she will continue to want this to be a part of her daily life. after this we will use regular marbles and the prizes will be things more like staying up extra late to watch a movie or a ice cream cone, it doesn't always have to be big, extravagant, or a toy - rowan responds just as well to simple prizes like i just mentioned.

when dinner is wrapping up each night we pull out the laminated sheet and all together go over it - we ask her how we think she did on each one and sometimes she even surprises up by admitting she thinks she didn't meet one or two. tim and i agree if she met them or not, if she did anything extra to earn the something extra (i use this as a bargaining chip too when i need her to be extra well behaved or helpful), then we add however many she got to the jar. on average she has been getting about half of them a night so far.

she gets really pumped each night as she sees the level rise - so far i would say this is working out great for her and us! we are seeing a better attitude and she is feeling a lot more in control of herself and her actions. this is a hard one to include stella on but rowan has already proclaimed that of course stella will be able to enjoy her prize with her.

i learned about the marble system years ago as a nanny - have you ever tried it with your little ones? what did you do differently that worked?


Katie said...

I love this idea. We have been using a sticker chart but I think this will be much more fun for Ev. I'll have to give it a try!

Katie said...

I love this idea. We have been using a sticker chart but I think this will be much more fun for Ev. I'll have to give it a try!