So I’ve started a reward system for little P, because for all I use the tried and tested Supernanny naughty step and tactically ignoring strategies, there has to be something positive as well. It needs to be tangible and exciting as well as sustainable. One of my biggest issues at the moment is bedtime, toddler P hates sleep, detests it and bedtime turns into 5 million stories, 10 million excuses and a billion irrelevant questions. It takes forever and has been driving me bonkers.
So we had a visit from the bedroom fairy with a little letter telling bossy P what she needs to do to get more things in the picture on her wall. I was wanting to spruce up her bedroom anyway and doing so as the reward system makes her room more inviting to settle in. So a jungle themed pack of vinyl wall stickers are strategically hidden and every time my little madam goes to bed nicely or as it’s now evolved, does anything good and listens/follows instructions magically another aspect of the picture appears.
Touch wood it’s working! Only three days in her tree and grass scene have gained animals, rainbows, flowers and all sorts. Simply from her getting dressed nicely, going to bed nicely, eating her dinner sensibly etc etc. And just like Santa, the bedroom fairy is everywhere, she’s always watching. And I can hear her coming…only mummies can (and Grannies because Granny T may need to pull the fairy card too). The little bit of magic has become fun too, it’s like a game, how can I sneak the next sticker up after she’s done something right without her twigging it’s me. How quickly can she spot the added extras to the image, where will they be, what will they be? Most importantly the bribery is working and toddler P loves it, she loves the image growing in front of her and squeals, “aw dats sooo cute mummy” when she admires it.
This morning I read a blog that said reward charts and sticker charts don’t work and not to use them. It suddenly made me question my decision, making me think I was getting it wrong. Then I took a reality check, what does one person, somewhere in the World Wide Web, actually know about me, toddler P and our life and what does or doesn’t work. For now it is, for now it’s serving it’s purpose. It’s cost me sod all, it’s taking little effort and is bringing about maximum impact, if I was to suggest a strategy that did this to the head of my school for the improvement plan she’d bite my hand off, minimum effort and expenses bringing about positive change-it’s a bit brainer isn’t it? I suppose that’s also it, I’m a teacher and have worked in education and with young people since before I started uni, I know that rewards work, positivity and praise is more pleasant and brings about better results, providing it’s also met with clear boundaries and consequences when needed.
So the jungle wall, bedroom fairy and bribery and corruption is here to stay for now. That is until toddler P decides to flip the lid on it and I’ve to come up with some other method of madness to convince her that I am really the boss in this house!