Parenting for me is a little bit different for most people. So my husband and I have tried various parenting techniques to teach behavior we think is important for them. We’ve finally found one that we are in love with! So far so good. It’s a token system. Anything we want them to do we pay them tokens for. And anything they want to do they pay tokens. That’s the simple version!
Some examples are this, they get paid for these things (remember, we have different hopes and expecatations for our kids than you might, so our things will be different that what you might pick). Going to school (a big one, they can earn up to 10 tokens for a good day at school, Their teachers tell me if they had issues, didn’t participate, misbehaved, etc… Some days they don’t get any of those 10), going outside (they would sit inside all day if I let them), getting dressed, taking a shower, attempting to use the toilet (the younger two) and chores around the house. One of our successes has been with dinner. We used to get a lot of complaints at dinner, lot’s of grumbling, whining, complaining, etc… Now they get paid a token for trying a bit, another if they eat everything, another if they put their plate in the sink, and the BEST one? They get paid a token if they talk nicely at dinner. It’s worked wonders! They NEVER complain anymore, and even talk so politely! They’ve even tried things they might not have otherwise, and the plates are always put away! Then they pay us for stuff they want, sticking with dinner if they don’t like what we’re having they can pay tokens to eat leftovers, or have a sandwich. They also pay for (limited) computer time, a movie, or they can save up for big stuff. Like going bowling, to the movies, or an arcade etc… Right now they are saving up for a wii, each token can be traded for 10 cents. So they have to earn 2000 tokens for the wii. They have about 100 saved up, so it will take awhile, but they’ll get their. They have also saved up and boughten stuff like computer games, a craft item or (The Reader) books!
I decided I that I needed a token/chore chart (It also completes another goal). I was hoping it would help me with organization and paying the kids. Also People with Aspergers are VERY visual, so if the kids can SEE what they need to do, or CAN do to earn tokens they might be more likely to do more! I made the chore chart by taking a MDF board, sanding down the edges and taping it off, then painting the magnetic paint. (This is when the magnetic paint mess was created!)
It was my first time working with magnetic paint, and I can’t say it went really well. I couldn’t get a magnet to stick to save my life! I ended up with 5 thin layers and nada! I ended up ordering some VERY strong magnets and they worked, but barely! They slide really easily.
I wish I’d used metal (like a sheet of metal roofing or something). Then I painted the rest black. That’s the other thing I would have changed. I would have painted the whole thing with primer, then black BEFORE painting the magnetic paint (or adding the metal instead). It was a paint to prime and paint around the magnetic sections.
Then I added the scrapbooking paper to finish it off!
ANYWAY… We used to try to give them tokens every single time they earned one, but that wasn’t always practial. But by the end of the day we don’t always remember everything. I made glass tile picture magnets of ever single chore/task that was possible for them to earn tokens. There is a section for each of the 4 kids and one extra. I mod podg-ed some pretty scrap-booking paper over the 5 magnetic sections. They were too big for my printer so I had to hand write them. Which is always a bad thing for me (I have the WORST handwriting!). But it turned out okay.
They each have a spot on the board. Under their name is the stuff they each do every day. Things like eating dinner, putting their plate away, getting dressed, changing their underwear (yes, it get’s forgotten easily), taking a shower, brushing teeth, etc… They they each have somehthing different, like feeding george, or setting the table, etc… So when they do something they just move it over and whenever I get a chance I pay them tokens and move the magnets back over!
Then there is the EXTRA section. The chores that anyone can do to earn more tokens, but no one HAS to do. Empty the dishwasher, clean up Legos, clean up the trash, vacuum, read a book, finish a craft, laundry stuff, etc... I also have a lot of tiles for the school year, pack your lunch, hang up your backpack and coat, put away shoes, do homework, etc... Anyway, so far so good! It's going well so far. The token system has been in place since January and we're loving it. The tile and chore chart is new the past week or so. It's still not working perfectly, but it is going okay.
update, I'm doing Vlog's to answer some questions I've recieved about the token system and to give better information.
Part 1- Dinner
Part 2- Computer Games
Part 3- Talk Nicely
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