Jumping on the Sticker Chart Train

Kids cry a lot. Well, mine do and if yours don’t then just keep it to yourself, Super Mom.

.punching

Sorry, I’ll calm down now.

Bella is my oldest and she’s four. She’s the emotional one of the bunch and parenting an emotional child is no easy feat. I always hear about the advice for “strong willed kids” and she may have a little of that in her, but mostly she’s just very sensitive. Crying has sort of become a habit {or hobby?} for her.

When she wants something, her first instinct is to cry about it, rather than just simply come to one of us and ask for it. There is no communication barrier. Girlfriend has been speaking complete sentences she was 17 months old. But little things–like getting her a drink or snack, turning on a TV show, helping with her shoes–turns into a battle of her demanding it and crying, rather than asking nicely. This is in addition to everything Mila does to torment her just to make her cry. Or things that happen to frustrate her and incidents like stumping her toe or sliding down or spilling her cereal. So there’s a lotta crying up in here. I’m not trying to dog on Bella, I’ll get to my point soon. I love her and she has MANY beautiful, wonderful qualities. She’s sweet and thoughtful, SO creative and imaginative, intelligent, funny, affectionate and loving. But my girl cries like it’s her job.

I finally decided {on a whim} that I want to get ahead of this. Everyone says sticker charts work wonders so I’m finally jumping head first into one and *fingers crossed* hoping it improves many areas of our every-day lives.

I want to work on three areas: manners, helping around the house, and eating habits.

Manners: This is going hand-in-hand with avoiding fits and tears. When she wants something, she needs to Ask “Please” and avoid throwing a fit. If she throws a fit first, no sticker. I’ll eventually add other manners but for now this is a huge issue that I want to address.

Helping Out: Five people and a cat live in this house but only one of us knows where the dirty clothes basket, sink, toy baskets and trash can are. Weird, huh? If this goes over well, I’m considering a sticker chart for Waylon, too. The things she can get a sticker for are: Put away shoes & dirty clothes. Clean up toys. Take dishes to the sink. *She has to do this without me asking. To get her motivated the first couple of times, I’ll gently remind her about the sticker chart and hopefully she’ll take it from there.

Eating Habits: Bella has this fun way of not eating a single thing on her plate, proclaiming she’s full, then asking for fruit snacks five minutes after dinner is cleaned up.

eyeroll

Partly to blame is me, for allowing it. Partly to blame is her and her picky appetite. She’s your typical kid–doesn’t want to try new foods, avoids most vegetables, loves chicken nuggets and if her food touches, you’ll hear her screaming from miles away. I have no desire to “hide her vegetables in other food.” For one, it’d do no good. For two, I just don’t want to. She can learn to try something new and realize she ain’t gonna die from it. I’m not over here trying to convince the kid to eat something off the wall or organic. But she can eat Hamburger Helper and love it. That’s what you do in this family, so fall in line or get left behind. Make a Happy Plate is that last thing she can do to earn a sticker. If she eats everything on her plate, she gets a sticker.

The *Rules* are pretty basic, because basic is my jam. Starting out, she has to earn three stickers for each of the five tasks. After she earns three for each task, she gets a prize. I’ll gather up some Dollar Tree goodies and stick them in a basket for her to choose from. As time progresses, her tasks will change and most likely the number of stickers she must earn will also change. We’ll see, it’s trial and error, like pretty much everything I do.

Like I said, I did this on a whim after I saw how proud she was when I praised her for saying “please” this morning. Perfect time to bank on this! I don’t want a poster board hanging up and I won’t have a chance to hit up the store for a while anyway. So, our sticker chart is not fancy, just like me

 

emoji

My most-used & favorite emoji 

stickerchart

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