For a while I've been rewarding the girls for good behavior by giving them "gems" (little glass beads). When they earn a certain amount, they get a reward. First they were working together to earn dishes I bought at IKEA. I didn't want to just give them to them, I wanted them to take good care of them because they had worked hard to earn them. That system worked well...and continues to work well--although I've now made it so they're not working together but on their own for their own rewards (it seemed like Savannah was doing all the earning and Abby was doing all of the losing!).
Anyway, I've collected a nice little selection of items (puzzles, glow necklaces, balloons and other cool stuff) from the Dollar Tree and the $1 section at Target. When they earn 20 gems, they get to choose something. If they do something naughty, they can also LOSE their gems. It's working okay, but I wanted a way to make it more effective. So this is what I've come up with:
I'm going to make a list of all they things they can do to earn gems. Basically it's doing anything to bless another person. Whether it be obeying quickly and cheerfully, getting up in the morning quietly and not waking me (that's a great one!), clearing each others dishes, etc. I just bought them each a piggy bank at Dollar Tree. On Monday, I'm going to give them each $2 in nickels. Every time I have to pick up something of theirs, ask them more than once to do something, nag about anything, yell about anything, etc...they lose a nickel. I'm tired of losing my temper and getting frustrated because they're NOT developing good habits. This way they'll get positive AND negative reinforcement. They can earn the gems for toys and earn money to spend on whatever they want. We'll see how it goes, but I'm rather hopeful. I'll post back in a week and update on how this is working...wish me luck, and prayers are ALWAYS welcome!