Friday, February 13, 2009

Paying Your Child to Behave: Part 2

This idea was borne from the new feeding plan. Spencer's feeding therapist and ABA therapist helped me devise it for Logan. This is the beauty of having two special needs kids; you have a lot of brains to pick. Hey, did I just say, "beauty of having two special needs kids?" Whoa.

Anyway, the whole idea is this: Logan is only 5 years old. Putting money in a piggy bank means that he doesn't have any clue how much is in there so he doesn't know how close he is to going shopping or how hard he has to work to get more money in the bank.

So they suggested that all the money should be visible to him and this makes a lot of sense. The ABA therapist said why not put them on the wall with velcro? Great idea! Also great would be to put them in various parts of the apartment. My husband is terrible at giving him quarters. I believe it is partly because he must leave the room, find the quarters and bank and then put it in but if I put the velcro quarters and "dollar bars" in every room it will be easy for Kai or I to give him quarters and take them away too.

So far what I do know about the pay-for-good-behavior plan is that it has given him pride and he has been excited to get money and very upset when money was taken away. I think when he is older, we can still continue the plan but get a piggy bank that counts money automatically and displays it on a screen.

Anyway, to make these things, I went to Staples and laminated a whole bunch of "dollar bars" and quarters (an image pilfered from the web). I used colored papers for the dollar bars to make it more eye-catching. I used the cutter at the store too. It's better than a scissor. I really believe this new system is going to be more helpful to Logan and Kai and me. Wish us luck. I'll let you know how it goes and if you want my templates, email me and I'll send them to you. Lamination cost about 20 dollars butI am getting the velcro from a friend so I don't know the cost of that.


Anonymous said...

Your plan is very similar to the token system in Dr. Russell Barkley's book, Taking Charge of ADHD. Our specialist (and many others) highly recommend his book for plans to manage ADHD. I have problems following through after the first week. We have charts all over the place that don't see much use anymore. I get so disappointed in myself that I can't remember some of these things. I am a planner by nature but keeping up with all the charts and prizes and the like can be harrowing. I love the idea of displaying the money -- I am going tohave to do that. We have a chore chart that gets stars that equate to money. Luke asks me constantly how much money he has and how much more he needs to afford the lego set he wants because the system is too complicated. Thanks fo the idea! Way to take charge of your situation. I'll be reading to see how it is going.

Jenn said...

Thanks Penny. I read Barkley's book, Your Defiant Child, and tried his token system but I think it was too symbolic for Logan who was 4 at the time but I loved the book, especially the narrating the child's play part. I stopped doing that but I really should get back to that. I really hope the displaying coins works. I know that he's used to charts and velcro at school. If it works there then why can't it work at home, right? I think your chore chart is good too. I believe ADHDers want fairness and black-and-white-ness. That's why many become lawyers. What a dream! For now, I would be ecstatic if he just stay seated to eat his toast.

Anonymous said...

I was reading your last three posts this morning and this what I came up with.

I think you are too hard on yourself. Parenting is all about improvisation. We don't know what we are going to get and we do the best with what we have. You love your children and they love you. Whenever I see them they are happy, healthy and full of life and you are a wreck. It was the same with me. You need to go with the flow a little more. Make sure that your quest to be a perfect mom and have perfect children doesn’t cause you to miss out on all the great things that come with being a parent.

Right now I think you need to put more effort into your marriage. Imagine if your marriage breaks; what would happen to Logan and Spencer? There is one thing that my pastor always tells the married couples in our church, “Great marriages make great parents.” Make an effort into loving your husband, faults and all. Go out of your way to be there for him, talk him to death, pour yourself out to him, GET IN HIS FACE!!! (in a loving way), spend money on a babysitter. If there is one thing I have learned in my seven years of marriage it is that I cannot change my husband, but I can change myself.

Anonymous said...

Jenn -- I spent a few hours yesterday creating my version of this visual rewards system (I skipped the laminating)-- thanks again for sharing the idea. My 6 YO ADHD son constantly asks me how much money he has (he is working for another Lego Star Wars kit). This is perfect because I don't have to tally up each week's sheet each time he asks anymore. Plus, it helps him with counting money! Education and sanity in one! I am going to share your idea on my blog this afternoon. I'll post a picture there of my version.

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