I am a firm believer in rewarding good behavior. Children quickly learn they love the feeling of being rewarded for something good. Many children act out as a way of attention anyhow, so why not receive good attention?
In our house, we use the marble jar for good behavior. I have 2 jars; from the dollar store, but anything you may have at home already would work just fine. In it I have cheap marbles/rocks ( again from the dollar store.) When the children do anything good, I reward them with a marble.
They take a marble out of the first jar, and put it into the smiley jar (I drew a smiley face on it with a marker.) The simple act of putting a marble in the jar thrills them. When all the marbles are out of the first jar, and the smiley jar is filled, they get a special treat.
What do they get rewarded for?
Being polite, helping each other, sharing, using their manners, almost anything. If I see them playing nicely I may say, “I really love the way you are playing so nice together, you all get to put a marble in.” This morning at Cracker Barrel, Madison gave the orange pegs to Mr. Briggs ( from the peg game on the tables) because orange is his favorite color. Therefore I praised her and told her she could put a marble in when we returned home. When I call their names, and they reply, “Yes ma’am” I let them put a marble in. The more I reward for their good behavior, the less bad behavior I have to deal with, and they are well on their way to a treat.
Our treat is different each time. Often, it is something we may do on a normal basis, but I make a bigger deal out of it because it is their prize! It may be a trip to the dollar store, movies, a pool day, baking a batch of brownies. Anything that I have on hand, can whip up, or afford.
-Our jar is for the 3 older kids. If you only have 1 child, make it smaller so they don’t get bored with the system before a reward.
-Make sure it is not a choking hazard for your aged child
-Don’t loose your marbles. I do not take away marbles. My system is for good behavior only. I deal with bad behavior in other ways, depending upon the child.