School is underway and the kids are settling into their daily routines. By the second week of school, our second grader was getting notes in her daily agenda book.
Day 1 it was simply: “Talking”. So I reminded her that talking was disruptive and asked her not to do it again.
Day 2 it was: “Talkative.” So I said 2 notes in one week!! If you bring home another note, you will lose your outside time after school tomorrow. We had a long talk and she explained to me that she could not help it. The “other people” at her table were talking to her and she just had to respond.
Day 3, Wednesday, it was: ” Too Much Talking.” By this time I was angry, you can’t go outside today or watch TV and if you bring home another note you will lose your outside privileges on the weekend.
Day 4, Thursday, was back to school night. I waited patiently for the teacher to give the parents her presentation. Following the presentation, I approached the teacher and introduced myself. I told her I was concerned about the notes that were being sent home and asked for suggestions on how to address the talking issue. She said that we should look for positive ways to deal with her talking. I liked this approach because I really didn’t like punishing her but I also did not want her talking to continue. For the most part she is a very good kid – she is well behaved, she is very smart, she does her work, and she gets good grades. However, she is talkative too – a social butterfly that gets her work done in a hurry and then wants to talk to others (preventing them from getting their work done.) I did not like punishing her..but I wanted the talking to stop.
This weekend we started seeing commercials for the movie Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs. And of course our seven year old said Mommy I want to see that. So I told her if you don’t get any notes in your agenda this week, then I we will go to that movie next weekend. So on Monday morning I reminded her of our agreement before she ran to the bus stop. She came home Monday afternoon with a great big smile. I was on a conference call when she came into the house and she did not care. She whipped out that agenda so that I could see that she did not have any notes. She was soo happy and proud of herself!!! And it was the same story each day of this week. So guess we are going to the movies on Friday!!
I really liked this approach better than punishing her. And it seemed to be more effective -at least for her it did. I have a teenager and to be honest this incentive approach did not always work on him.
BMWK – I don’t think that all of her incentives will involve activities that require me to spend money. What do you think about this approach? Do you think it is like bribing the kids? Has this approach worked with your own kids?