poker chips as tangible good/bad choices - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 05-27-2012, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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my children don't listen.,  it drives me and dh batty.  i yell too much.  im overwhelmed, i know...  so, im thinking of trying a poker chip system.


everyone gets a container (3, 5, 7 yo ds's, me, dh  ...not baby)  ... 

-we each  start out with 5 poker chips just because...(day 1 only)


as the day goes on we can add poker chips for making good decisons, take away for bad...  anyone can do this as long as they can articulate why... (ill keep notes)

we already made a bare bones set of rules for the house...but no one follows them...


we'll brainstorm nice things you can do to "earn" tokens and leave a chart of them on the wall -- im thinking of adding chore-ish things (pairing socks, silverware drawer of dishwasher, things that i dont expect them to do anyway, etc)


we'll discuss who got them and why/taken away and why at dinner every night...


would alfie kohn hate it?  how about barbara coloroso (i lean more towards her anyway)


(my 5 yo esp is a very visual/tactile learner -- i think i could talk til im blue in the face and it doesnt make as much sense as when he can touch/feel/see it...)

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#2 of 4 Old 05-28-2012, 09:36 PM
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I know you are wanting to "do the right thing" and you're asking if Alfie Kohn would hate it.... well, I would say, Mr. Kohn doesn't live in your house, so if it works for you, then do it.  I guess you'd have to just try it and see.

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#3 of 4 Old 05-28-2012, 09:55 PM
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So, what happens when a kid loses all of his poker chips and still is making bad decisions?

I used to work with kids who had behavioral disorders, so I know a bit about setting up this kind of thing. It can be useful for effecting behavior change in the short term, to start new habits and get back on track. I don't think the way you have it set up will work well, though.

What I would suggest is setting up a few behaviors that you specifically want to target - no more than three, and I would probably start with one. Use a clear container so the kids can see the chips they're earning (It's best to use something with a slip in the top for putting chips in that can't be easily opened by the kids). You also want to start out with a system of rewards - something the kids can earn with their chips.

If chips can only be earned and not taken away, kids tend to buy into the system more, and it keeps things more positive. I'd create a set time every day - at dinner, if you want - when the kids can "cash in" their chips or choose to save for bigger rewards. Little rewards can be things like staying up 10 minutes later or a piggy back ride in the yard or whatever your kids like. I'd get the kids' input and make a chart so that they can see what they're working towards.

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#4 of 4 Old 05-29-2012, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks... that's really what I want to do... kickstart us all on some new habits...


i was hoping that the act of putting in/taking out the chips would be enough to make us all more cognizant of what we're doing and help us along the way.  I also have written out lists of things that we're supposed to do (morning routine -- instead of me being the drill sargeant saying ok, now get dressed.  ok, now put your dirty clothes in hamper, etc... they can see the steps on a chart on their wall...)

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