I know he’s only four but we’ve decided on a “chore chart” for Jeffrey. I’m trying to give him the idea that certain activities such as hitting your sister or not listening to Mama and Dada are unacceptable. As well as teach him that it is a priviledge to go to the Strong Museum and the zoo.
So he’s got four tasks at home and three at school
- Listen to Mama and Dada
- Be a good Helper
- Get dressed by yourself
- Stay in bed all night
- Morning behavior
- Take a nap
- Afternoon behavior
I know that the first two are nebulous arbitrary things but I really do want him to TRY and listen to us a little better and he requested that being a good helper be on the chart. The others are the constant problems we run into with him. Asking him to get dressed is an arduous task that involves much hand wringing and excuse giving. I have no patience for this. Also, since we’ve been at Bridget’s and in the same room at night, he is constantly waking up and arguing with us about staying in bed or climbing in with us.
As far as school goes, I just want him to behave for his teachers and get a little more feedback on each day.
The idea is that he gets a sticker for each task that he completes each day and at the end of each week, depending on how many stickers he has, he can choose a reward. I don’t have it all worked out yet but I’m planning on small rewards like; watching a video, getting dessert after dinner, staying up 15 minutes later on Saturday night or getting an extra book before bed. More stickers can yield big rewards like a trip to the zoo or the museum.
I hope it works. I think it will. His teachers think that he will respond to it and I value their input. I’m hoping that it just makes him a tiny bit more aware of how he is acting. Not to mention that I’ve found (contrary to my instincts) that having him work towards a reward works so much better than taking things away as punishment.
And if it doesn’t work or he’s too young for it? We’ll try it out and shelve it till later. It certainly can’t hurt.