My kids are doing my head in, and I know I’m not the only one. When my girls are misbehaving we do time-out, we confiscate stuff and when we are super tired, we yell. Unfortunately, most of the disciplines strategies in my home focus on correcting bad behaviour. I easily forget that the kids also need so much positive reinforcement.
This week, I’m bringing back an old Cherry favourite called A-Block-in-the-Jar. (Named because it involved blocks and a jar. Unfortunately, the jar broke and the blocks went to the church bring-and-buy so I’ve had to purchase new supplies.) Block-in-a-Jar is a positive parenting technique that reinforces positive behaviour. The behaviour that we focus on is kindness (Because kindness rocks, and because the main source of arguments in our home comes from unkindness.)
The block-in-the-jar goes like this:
- Get two jars.
- Fill one jar with objects.
- Decide on a reward that the whole family can enjoy together.
- Every time you catch the kids doing something kind, transfer one of the objects to the empty jar.
- When the jar is full, enjoy the reward.
The thing I love about this is that when I put in some effort, I see my kids being kind all the time. It’s easy to focus on all the way they are misbehaving. But when I focus on the good, I see that my kids being really sweet toward each other too.
I’ve been tempted in the past to remove blocks for bad behaviour, but I’ve never done it- we have plenty of bad behaviour techniques, and we reserve this for the good.
Pink and purple bouncy balls work for my girls. Matchbox cars in a big jar could work, or little lego pieces in a small jar. This Christmas I’m using small baubles.
You could target other behaviours; every time you see your children completing a chore without whinging or being asked, for every time they use good manners, or for every day they keep their room clean.
And one more thing before I go… if you’ve read my last post, you’ll know I have a bunch of jars I don’t need. If you’re Perth SOR, you’re welcome to a couple!