Positive Reinforcement System

In our home, we try to avoid negative punishment as much as possible. Kids, and humans in general, thrive on positive reinforcement and validation. 
We have a system, taught to us by the kids' counselor, that changed our parenting.

The idea behind this system is that the kids will want the positive reinforcement so much that they will abide by it without interference.

You start with your family values. What means the most to your family? How does your family make a happy, fun, and safe home? 

For us, these things are: 
• be respectful of others•
• N O  F I G H T I N G•
• follow directions•
• patience•
• H O N E S T Y•

Each of these values is a daily reminder for the kids, and us, to practice. 

Next, you have to lay out exactly what is expected of your kids. Chores, behaviors, routines, calendars. 

It sounds like a lot, and it is, but you get the hang of it.

You need to give your children 100% of the information so they can succeed. 
Especially since we have ADHD and cognitive delay in our house, we have details of sports, music lessons, family obligations, and appointments all laid out so everyone is aware and prepared. This teaches them time management as well. They can look at the calendar, see that we have dinner with grandma on Saturday at 5, so they make sure to get their chores and other duties done beforehand. 

We also have their chores detailed. 
They are laminated on a clipboard for them to check off as they go. 
Everyone in our house helps out. Everyone has responsibility, all the way down to Lincoln.

I am so grateful to my parents for teaching me how to take care of a house! It took a few years to kick in after I had kids, but now it's a well oiled machine. 

Two times a day, we check in on how the kids are performing; before we leave for school and before bedtime. These are two pivotal times in our daily lives, and you should choose the same. Some people do three times a day, some do one. It's up to you.

Are they following our family values?
Are they keeping up on the routine?
Are they completing their chores?

We sit down at the kitchen table to review. As we go through each child and their list, we praise them for everything they have been doing. If there is something they aren't doing, we remind them to do so with no judgement and without scolding.

Then, you determine how your kids are rewarded. 

Our kids receive little puff balls as points. 
Some people use Monopoly money, others could use gold stars.

These points are then used to earn things:

Game time, special treats, toys, alone times, movie dates, etc.

And NEVER EVER take points away. Points are earned. You cannot take away something they earned. When they are not performing according to the family values, they simply don't earn points. Which prohibits them from being able to purchase their fun stuff off of the menu. 

They can earn up to 12 points a day, and they can also earn bonus points for going above and beyond.
Each point corresponds to one of the family values - because if they are following all of the family values, they are also completing their chores and behaving accordingly.

They also have notebooks where they write to me and Ryan. I have a prompt for them on each page, such as "Name three things you are excited for!" and "What kind of vacation do you want to take this summer?"

Then they can write whatever they want, or draw a picture, tell me a story.

It helps the kids stop and think about their days and I love communicating with them in a different way.

The final piece to this positive parenting system is validation.

Validate their feelings and their problems.
Make sure they feel heard and loved.

We try to start every conflict by asking them their feelings, validating them, and teaching.

Teach them, don't punish.

Now, obviously, we are not perfect. We mess up all the time.
Over and over and over.

We just restart. We try to be better everyday.

I hope this system helps you guys as it helped our family. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!

No comments :

Post a Comment

Blog Design by Get Polished | Copyright 2016