My boys are 10 and 7. We've never used any sort of punishment/rewards system with them. I mean, they have been told to go to their room or we've taken away the light saber or whatever was needed to deal with a particular issue, but we've never had any formal system or chart in place.
The kids came to me a few weeks ago all excited about an idea they came up with. They wanted to earn points for good behavior and get a reward at the end of a certain time period. I was instantly completely averse so to the idea, but they kept badgering me about it, really wanting to implement it. (At first they also wanted the power to take away points from each other, but I of course knew that was never going to fly.) But tonight we were having some of our same old battles and I started thinking about it.
I am philosphically opposed to artificial rewards for good behavior, I've read Alfie Kohn, etc. But if they are the ones wanting it, can you think of any really horrible reasons for giving it a try? It's so foreign to me that I'm not even sure where to start, but I'm guessing they would pick a certain "treat" like going out for pizza or a movie night or something, and then tally up their points at the end of the week. They also suggested that I would take away points if they were not behaving well (and don't think there aren't times I'd love to be able to use something like this), but I don't think I could do that. I think I could only make it a positive behavior system.
Gah. I can't even believe I'm considering this, but they seem really disappointed that I haven't followed through on their request. I think a lot of this stems from the "Golden Eagle" tickets they earned at school this past year. (They were homeschooled previously.) Teachers would catch the kids doing something good and give them a Golden Eagle ticket. The tickets were entered in a drawing and then once a month they pulled some names out for special rewards. But honestly, the kids seemed more excited about just getting the ticket.
So anyhow, I'm thinking about trying it, and would love any feedback you might have.