Discipline, expectations and positive reinforcement is an area in which a lot of parents struggle. Where do the lines cross between the three? When is positive reinforcement necessary? How much positive reinforcement is too much? Why does one method work for one child but is not effective for another?
This is something we struggle with quite a bit in my own household. My husband is someone who needs positive reinforcement or else he becomes quite discouraged. I love the guy, but this is not a trait I want my own kids to carry on because I want them to be self-motivated throughout their lives. On the other hand, I recognize that they are kids now and kids do well when they are motivated and encouraged by others.
The whole chore chart thing never worked well for us either. Whenever one of the kids forgot to check off their chore they ended up sabotaging the whole rest of the week.
Here is where it gets trickier. My oldest has hit that age where he wants monetary compensation, whether an allowance or a couple of bucks for help that is above and beyond. I am torn on giving my kids an allowance right now, because they often don’t get the simplest of tasks done without a gazillion reminders. It is my feeling that they can only start getting more responsibilities with an allowance once they get the basics down without an argument, but I will not be handing them money for doing the few things that they should be doing anyway. Now, I should also be clear and say that we are not talking about hard labor here. These are simple tasks such as making the bed, bringing dishes to the sink after a meal, and remembering to bring homework and jackets home from school. That should not be too difficult to remember, should it?
So, when I heard about the Awesome Deck of Awesome I thought it would be great to try in our home. As a blogger I generally do not do tons of product reviews, but this is so appropriate for my family right now that when the company offered to give me one to try I jumped at the chance.
The Awesome Deck of Awesome is a set of cards, the size of a deck of playing cards, with characters and cute sayings to tell your child that he or she is…. well, awesome! You can use the deck in whatever way works for you and your family. You can even change the way you use it for each of your children, based on their age group or other factors.
In our home we will use it like a rewards system. They will receive the cards for going above and beyond, only if they are also doing the few tasks which they should be doing daily, like making their beds and bringing their dishes to the sink after a meal. When they are given a set number of cards they get a reward, perhaps monetary, a movie of their choice or a small toy. Since my six year old loves to collect things, this whole idea is resonating with him immediately. My oldest is a little more skeptical. He is waiting to see how long it takes him to get a reward before he commits to it fully, and that is just fine with me.
A deck of awesome cards for boys or girls includes 35 cards and retails for $9.45. A combined deck with 70 cards for boys and girls retails for $16.45. To purchase an deck of Awesome, go to Amazon.com.
Disclosure: Thanks to the folks at Awesome Deck of Awesome for sending me these awesome cards. We are having a great time with them! There are affiliate links in this post.