ARE YOU USING CONTRACTS YET?
If one of your goals is to improve behavior (all ages and abilities), here's an excellent tool: Replace "Giving" with "Earning."
I don't like allowances. They always suggest "free" money to me and as much as I might like it, I don't get "free money" so why should my kids?
What I do like is "earning." You can have anything you want in this life, just as soon as you've earned it.
"Well, O.K., How can I earn it?"
Here's a good example that uses success with homework as the beginning of a good contract:
- Assignments brought home earns 2 points (teachers and parents have a great opportunity here)
- Materials brought home earns 2 points
- Starting on time earns 2 points
- Staying on task (2 points every 15 minutes) earns 4 points
- Assignments complete and in backpack earns 2 points
- Assignments turned in on time earns 2 points
TOTAL = 14 points
In your contract agree to pay out in cash daily. How much should every point earned be worth?
You and your child will have to determine what's valuable and appropriate. For instance, if each point is worth 10 cents, then each day your child could earn $1.40. Five days a week would earn him/her $7.00 a week. Write it down in your contract and save in your Family Notes binder. Here's another example, "Every 25 points earned, earns a special movie night with Dad."
Is $7.00 or Movie Night the right amount for your child to earn in a week? I'll have a lot more to say about this in posts to come. In the meantime, there are excellent sample contracts and earning guidelines beginning on page 14 of our basic manual: How to Teach Your Child to Read and Succeed. You'll be on your way as early as tonight.
In the meantime, no more allowances. Allowances encourage kids to think like this, "How much are you going to give me?"
I hear parents say, "I'll give you $5 bucks to shovel the driveway." You could re-frame your statement this way, "Don't forget to earn your points."
P.S. If you haven't received your 10 Free Reading Tools and Solutions, click here and leave me your email address. I think you're going to like them.
Brainsarefun Fearless Friday Blog © March 2013 by Rory Donaldson