11.25.2009

The Experiment Is Underway

I have been having some issues lately getting my kids to behave. I don't think it's completely my fault. I don't think I'm a bad parent. But I'm sure I'm not perfect and that's why this experiment is so important. To try to change everyone's behavior. I read about this idea somewhere and have been wanting to try it out for a while. But my brain makes me think that everything has to be perfect before I can start a project like this!

The Experiment:
Take away ALMOST all the toys. Pack them up and put them away. Leave enough that your kids have something to play with, i.e. a couple cars, a couple dolls, some legos, some dress up clothes. But take away the majority of the toys. When the children get home/wake up explain to them that the toys that are out are all they have unless they have good behavior that day. At the end of the day if behavior has been good they can earn back ONE toy. Not one bin full, or one set of something, just one toy. If the behavior has been less than expected then they get nothing.

I guess I feel that my kids have been overwhelmed with all the "stuff". So I'm taking away what's not necessary in the hopes that they don't feel overwhelmed anymore and can be happier children.

Now let's just hope it works! I'll keep you posted on how it's going in the next couple days!

4 comments:

Mel said...

Your kids aren't angels?!? I never would have guessed. I'm at a loss on how to get Danica to stop arguing with everything anyone says. Do you think it's hopeless? I like the experiment. Danica's toys are mostly kept in tubs at the top of her closet. She only requests something about once a week maybe? She plays with lil sis and her toys! haha. Or draws/writes/colors right now. I just realized that's what she's into. Maybe I'll change my christmas gift plans a little. I sure am an observant momma.

Jared Smith said...

Here's an idea that might help. This is one of the few things from all those Psych and teaching classes that stuck and has generally worked well with our kids.

The idea is that you don't reward for doing something that is expected of them. For example, if your kids are expected to clean their rooms, don't reward them for doing it. Doing so sends the message that cleaning their room is something out of the ordinary and special. It conditions them to only behave well when they want a reward - not because they're supposed to anyway. Now if they clean it exceptionally well or clean YOUR room also, then a reward is justified.

In other words, if you reward them for acting the way they should be acting, then they really have no motivation to be REALLY good and have no real reason to remain good when the rewards become less desirable. So, maybe only give them a toy when they are exceptionally good instead of just NOT behaving badly.

The other side of this approach is that you don't punish them with something they should be doing anyway - like making them clean their room if they throw a tantrum. They should clean their room anyway, so this punishment sends the message that cleaning their room is a bad, negative thing to be avoided.

Anyway, just some thoughts from somebody that really has no idea what he's doing, but thought it sounds like a good idea.

Aub said...

what a great idea! I've been feeling the same way with Riley. I've been taking things away every time his behavior is not the best, but taking everything away and then him earning it back a little at a time might work better. Thanks for sharing this idea with us! Hopefully it works for you and also for me.

Shayla said...

Great idea! I'll be keeping this one in mind! Good luck :)