Friday, September 6, 2013

Motivational Tickets

So I'm using something new, and I thought you all might find it useful as a jumping-off point in your own homes.

We've had two persistent character issues going on this school year:

1.  Complaining and fussing.  Mostly about school work.  "This is SO HARD!"  "I'm DYING!!!"  (over something so strenuous as 15 minutes of penmanship practice for a 5th grader....)

2.  Mean words toward one another.

The other day at our CC tutor meeting, our director shared Proverbs 12: 18 with us as something that had helped her with her own children.  The next day I made a print out of it, in a modern translation, and we are reading it together each morning before school.  It says:

Some people make cutting remarks,
but the words of the wise bring healing.

I have a roll of those perforated carnival tickets.  (got them in the office supply area of Walmart)  I decided to give each boy two sets of 3 tickets per day.  One set is plain.  One set I draw a red stripe across. They write their name on the back of each one.  The plain ones are for complaining:  If they fuss or complain about something, they pay me a ticket.  The "red line" tickets are for cutting remarks.  (cutting=blood=red)  So if they make cutting remarks, they pay me a ticket.  

The goal, of course, is to still have tickets available at the end of the day.  I have a container that all of their kept tickets go into.  I have a small stash now of tickets that they paid me for complaining or for cutting remarks.

I thought this up on a whim, so didn't have the reward portion of this figured out when I started it, and I don't have it figured out now.  I'll come up with something.  I think that for my sons, just having something tangible to remind them to think before they speak is helpful.  

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