Last year my good friend Kate was telling me about the click system for encouraging good behaviour. It sounds peculiar, and a little like dog training or a star chart, but we have had some great wins with it. The original idea uses a frog clicker that made such an enchanting sound that your child would want to hear it. Clicks are given for good behaviour in an area where you would like to see a change, you can't take clicks away. After a set number of clicks are given there is a small reward based on what you child loves. Last year we did resort to lollies. The system stayed in place for quite a few months and really did change behaviour in the house. Dinner time is our real bug bear and we did see politer, better mannered and more diverse eating children. The system lasted a few months but we did get sick of buying lollies (even though they last a long time as it is one lolly for 5 clicks) and the behaviour had changed so it went by the by.
So why pictures of bike riding you may ask?
The click system is back. We never had the frog, used a maraca for a while, but now just say "click click". This time no lollies, instead the children have negotiated computer time, which I am always reluctant to let them use. One click = a minute on the computer, you can only redeem your clicks when you have a minimum of 20 clicks. The two year old is just happy to be told "click click' when she does something well, and she like to doll out some click clicks to us when she thinks we're doing well. we were finding it hard to keep track of the clicks so my daughter drew up a tally chart.
The whole thing started again after a nasty yelling, unhappy son shut in the naughty room, kind of dinner which I swore we weren't going to do again.
So at first we were giving clicks just for good behaviour at dinner but my son loves the computer so he was looking for more ways to earn clicks.
Good at dinner table - one click
Unpack dish rack - one click
Help clear the table - one click
Sort and put everyone's washing in their room - 3 clicks
Run around the roundabout 10 times - 3 clicks
Ride around the roundabout 10 times - one click
Clean up the lounge - 2 clicks
Cook Dinner - 3 clicks
Make lunches - 2 clicks
Stay in own bed all night - 2 clicks
You get the idea......
Around and around they went, they even motivated me to join them and the two year old wanted to ride too which involved me pushing her around.
The kids aren't spending any more than 20 minutes on the computer each day - monitored by a timer which lets them know when its over. If they get off happily, without complaint or nagging for more time, they might get a click, we like to surprise them with unexpected clicks when they don't realise they're being great. We're happier, and they actually have more fun earning the clicks than spending them.
My 10 year old wanted to know why she has to earn time on the computer and I said "I don't want to be the kind of mummy who lets their kids spend all day on the TV and computer, I want you to see the big wide world." She's happy with that for now. I'm sure it won't all last buts its great while its working - 3 weeks of clicking so far.