I try to keep our prize drawer stocked with all sorts of things from the Dollar Store and the Dollar section of Target that little boys would love to have in their treasure boxes. I must admit there is some gross stuff in there, but they love it. In order for the boys to feel encouraged about their chances I sat the bar rather low this time. All it takes are 3 good behavior days at school and then they get to select a prize. Each of the little boys has a behavior chart that is sent home daily by their teachers. You may recall this post that talked about the charts.
This system worked WONDERFULLY for several months. The great thing was that it changed as the boys started making better choices. If they were good Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday they got a prize with the chance to get a second prize by being good on Thursday and Friday which HoneyBunny did most often. If Thursday was a bust, but they were still good on Friday then they earned the opportunity to stay up late and watch movies (which is highly motivating to LoveBug). In this way, the boys didn't give up like they had done in the past when they had a bad day, but rather tried again the next day.
It all worked well, until HoneyBunny decided that one prize a week was enough for him. Then that attitude caught and the prize drawer didn't work as well anymore. I even took them to the store and let them pick all of the prizes. I was getting frustrated with the borderline good Monday-Wednesday, bad Thursday and good Friday pattern that had set in (but at the same time I was impressed that he found the loop-hole of sorts) when SugarBear suggested a modification of the criteria.
Now, the little boys earn a point (kept track of with personalized popsicle sticks) for each day they are good, but each day they fail to meet expectations they lose a point (stick). Thus, good Monday-Wednesday results in 3 points (sticks), but bad on Thursday takes them back down to only 2 sticks. Forcing the good behavior on Friday to earn back the stick OR a late night up (tough decision ... they only get both with 5 earned points). All points are redeemed on either Friday evening or Saturday morning. It doesn't sound very different, but it helps with my frustration level. The key element is that I'm not allowing them to get something out of the prize drawer on Wednesday only to have a report of bad behavior on Thursday. I feel that our balance has been restored.
Here is the break down:
Points are earned with good behavior
Points are lost with bad behavior
2 Points earns respect, but no prize
3 Points earns an item from the prize drawer
4 Points earns an item from the prize drawer and the chance to get two prizes
5 Points earns two prizes from the prize drawer and a late night up.
Late nights are redeemed on Friday night only
Prizes are redeemed on Friday night, unless there is a bad report on Friday pushing the redemption to Saturday.
It is a little complicated, but they are really bright boys that catch on quickly.