Summer is here. Our kids are spending a lot of time together. A lot. They usually play well together, and are thoughtful of each other. Usually. But it’s easy to get along when the sky is full of rainbows and you each have cotton candy in your hand. Not so much when you’re losing a game of Uno or when your sibling gets a cookie with a few more chocolate chips in it. Something happens to these angels in those moments, and it’s hard to get out of that funk once you’re in it. We needed a reset for kindness, a reminder to help without being asked, and a way to promote good habits. Hence, the reward jar.
This can be a sticky subjects among parents. To reward or not to reward? We all want to use positive reinforcement, but do rewards produce long-term results? So we use the good old reward jar strictly for acknowledging extra kindness and thoughtfulness, for helping without being told, or for working things out fairly between them if it gets rough. All focus on all positive. The reward is usually an experience or fun thing we can do together.
How it works at our house: Our kids have to work as a team to earn the reward. One jar, one hundred wooden beads. Yes, they sometimes strategize out a few kind gestures together, but so be it.
What is your system? We all have our favorite parent resources … we love Montessori child development expert Maren Schmidt who writes totally brilliant and usable newsletters (she can be found here). Your favorites? We’d love to hear parenting successes and ideas to share. We’re in this together! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.