Pirate Theme Behavior Chart & Rewards
I don’t know about you, but I’m finding the ages of 3 to 4 1/2 to be particularly challenging from a parenting standpoint. The seemingly constant whining, bickering and back talk is getting to be kind of old and while I’m hesitant to wish away time, I am looking forward to Ben’s 4th birthday in June. One area that’s been particularly tough is discipline.
Tips & Strategies for Disciplining a Preschooler
We’ve tried sticker behavior charts, star systems, special outings etc. and nothing really seems to work as far as curbing the undesirable behaviors. I figured out that I needed something more immediate and more motivating to Ben. First, I thought money was the way to go. My boys love when Daddy empties out his pockets and lets them put coins in their piggy banks. They don’t know that we’re actually going yet, but they know we’re saving up for a very expensive trip to Disney. So my thought was to hand them a nickel or dime every time I caught them being kind or when they did something they were asked to do.
But then, I had what may be one of my best parental brainstorms yet. Speaking of Disney, Ben is obsessed with Jake and the Neverland Pirates on Disney, Jr. One Saturday morning, I realized that Jake and his gold doubloons were the answer to my behavior woes. This pirate money just magically appears when Jake and his buddies foil Captain Hook, complete a task or do a good deed. They collect them throughout their adventure then deposit them into their treasure chest at the end. Exactly what Ben needed.
So this past weekend, the Easter Bunny brought Ben some gold doubloons. I explained to him that not every kid got these and the bunny only chose certain ones to receive this treasure:
The deal is that any grown up can give Ben a doubloon anytime they feel it’s warranted. For example, he got one for willingly sharing a blanket with his brother and for putting on his pants after only being asked once. By the time we left for Easter dinner, he had earned 5…and lost 3. You see, those grown ups can also take them away when necessary…like when there are arguments over shoes or disagreements on when it’s actually time to leave. As Ben earned them throughout the day for using his words with his cousin instead of screaming or hitting and for cleaning up toys that he didn’t take out, he received coins and proudly kept them in his pocket. I kept seeing him checking for them throughout the day to make sure they were there, but I can’t help but wonder if they were serving as a reminder of the good that came from positive behavior.
I’m looking forward to seeing where this takes us. It’s effort on my part to remember to always have doubloons with me. I have some stashed in my purse and am going to keep some in the car. Eventually I may let him cash them in for real money so we can go see Jake in person some day but haven’t decided if that’s too complicated of a concept.
Wish us luck mateys!
- Parenting Webinar: Discipline for Young Children
- E-family news: Alternatives to Time Out – Positive Guidance Tips for Better Discipline
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Preschooler is Stubborn with Mom, Not Dad
- Read more posts about preschoolers and posts about discipline from the Family Room bloggers