Reward System

By: Kristen Clifford

Back in August, my husband and I decided to try a new reward system with Grace, because the sticker chart just wasn’t working anymore. Grace was 2 at the time but, about to turn 3, and was hitting those terrible threes early and hard! I made what we refer to as a color ladder.  It has 6 colors and the higher up you move on the ladder the better you are behaving.  We decorated a clip and move it up or down depending on what she is currently doing.  At the end of the day what color she is on dictates the rewards or punishments.

If she is on red, then she has to go to bed 10 minutes early and does not get any balls added to her jar (I’ll explain that in a few minutes.)  If she is on orange , then she has to go to bed 5 minutes early and no balls.  Yellow is no balls, but just a warning.  Green is 1 ball and bedtime as usual.  Blue is 2 balls and usual bedtime. Pink is 3 balls and a special treat. Grace actually was at pink yesterday so she got to have ice cream after dinner. We made a reward jar to go along with the color ladder. I got those pom pom balls at A.C. Moore. Whenever Grace does something good (sharing, helping us, listening to directions, staying in bed) she gets to add a ball to her jar.  When her jar is full she gets to pick out a toy.

We had Grace decorate her reward jar, for ownership! When Grace does something extra special, like sharing her toys without being asked, she gets a super special sparkle ball!

I also picked up some bigger balls for when she does an amazing job. For instance yesterday she told me Emma had pooped, I said I’d change her in a minute. Without being asked she got out a diaper, diaper cream, wipes, and got a toy to keep Emma happy while I changed her.  She was super cute and kept talking to Emma to keep her happy, it just melted my heart.  Because Grace was being a great helper and a great big sister I gave her one of the big pom poms and she was so proud!

When we go to Target I let her look at the toy section and remind her that as soon as she fills her jar she can buy one of the toys.  She seems to really understand and is always working hard to fill the jar.  Once the jar is filled, she picks out a toy.  Then we empty the jar and start over again.


4 thoughts on “Reward System

  1. When I read ideas like this – and testimonies that they really work – I am so impressed. I have tried some with my children, but they get too cumbersome and/or my son finds a way to manipulate them. So glad they work for other families though. I am sure many will benefit from your sharing here.

  2. What I like about this system is that it’s a visual “filling” with some different ways to acknowledge the “extras” like the bigger balls or sparkle balls. It also introduces the concept of saving for things which I love. I hope it keeps working!

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