To make a treasure box it is really quite simple; you will need a container big enough to hold the "treasures”, some marbles, gems, or coins to track the kid’s progress, and a personalized container for each child to store their earnings. I personally recommend involving the kids in the making of the treasure box and personalized containers as it is a great opportunity to give them a sense of ownership and excitement for the new program to be implemented.
Some tips to remember when implementing a new reward system to acheive it's maximum potential:
1.) Establish how your children can earn their
marbles, write them down together so there is no confusion as to how to earn them
2.) Be consistent! Always reward for your established
behaviors and Never reward for things not on the list... unless you are altering the list. Giving marbles "just because" or as special treats can actually compromise the integrity of the program because your children can become unclear as to how to earn them. Also, not rewarding something that has previously been
rewarded in the past can be discouraging for the kids.
3.) Make the end goal achievable; You would not want to make your toddler earn as many marbles as your 9 year old. I make my preschooler earn 3 marbles before he can cash them in. (he has the option to save them too though) and my 8 year old has to earn 5 before she can cash hers in.
4.) Do not delay rewarding/ praising your child for good behavior. A delay in doling out earned rewards can take away from the sense of accomplishment for a young child. So try to do everything you can to prevent that situation.
5.) Find out what your child's currency is and use that. Often we get distracted and don't realize that the very reason a child is misbehaving is because they are wanting attention. Therefore when we drop everything to discipline them, we are in fact, accidently rewarding them. A great way to stop this cycle is to ignore such behaviors and reward desired behaviors with time. I have made some coupons that you can print out and laminate and put in your treasure box. And the best part.... they are free! I will attatch a link at the end of this entry.
6.) As you child exhibits proficiency in his or her areas of concern- make it more challenging or switch to a new area of concern. We don't continue to reward our teenagers every time they poop on the potty for a reason- it is ridiculous! But it is easy to become complacent in our parent/child dynamic and more commone than I care to admit! Just remember the benefit of this system is to encourage accountability and socially resonsible behaviors- not to raise an entitled child that will only behave for treats!
Loses points in Entertaining and Clean-Up only because they are not applicable when implimenting the system.
And as Promised.....
Supports the Progression of:
Cognative Function- Cause and effect, critical thinking to acheive a goal, simple math by adding the marbles, self discipline by adjusting behaviors and reactions to acheive a common goal.
Fine Motor Skills-Picking up small items and putting them in jar.
Ocular Motor-Decorating and personalizing the jars. Executing a creative plan within established parameters.
Social Skills- Teaches anything and everything that you use the system for. From empathy, appropriate emotional responses, frustration tolerance, sharing, and responsibility, to self esteem, pride, accountability, discipline of delayed gratification and generosity. The sky is the limit with this one!!!!!