Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Sticker Chart

After getting very tired of  the many time-outs in our house we decided back in September to try something new.  I wanted to go along the lines of positive reinforcement, something that would encourage Rory to listen better and do things on her own.  After a little poking around on Pinterest, I decided to create my own sticker chart for Rory.

Rory and I went to Target together and picked out poster board and stickers.  Then together we brainstormed 3 prizes that she wanted.  She chose pack of M&M's (we rarely let her eat candy so this is a big treat for her), A new toy from The One Spot at Target and as the big prize a trip to Build-A-Bear.  After she went to bed I created a board game-like sticker board and hung it on the side of the cabinet. My drawing skills could use some improvement!

In the beginning Rory earned lots of stickers.  She was excited and would volunteer to do things on her own.  We stuck with the examples on the bottom at first, but as she got good with these things we challenged her a little more.  For example, we started right when Rory got her new daily inhaler and was giving us a hard time taking it morning and night.  We put on the list 'Take Meds with No Fight.'  After about a week and 8 stickers she was a master at her inhaler and it seemed silly to continue to reward her for this so we started focusing on the other tasks. 

The few things that remained a constant top sticker earner throughout the 3 months of this chart were Cleaning up her toys, Listening, Getting herself dressed and Going potty by herself.  On occasion she would get special stickers for waking up early to take me to the airport or having friends over and sharing her toys.  Rory was really motivated for each prize along the way and especially for the grand prize.

An unexpected bonus of the chart was that it allowed us to work on our counting A LOT.  Everytime Rory got a new sticker she counted how many she had.  This ended up in the 60's until we switched to counting how many were left.  She needs help with the flip to the next 10's but I thought this was a great way to practice and learn counting.

After months of working hard on this the Build-A-Bear day finally came yesterday.  Rory was beyond excited.  

On the way to Build-A-Bear we talked about what she would name her bear.  My only advice was that we should avoid names like Brown Bear the Bear or Horsey the Horse.  Although Tim thinks those are cute, I prefer names a little more unique and creative.  I suggested she think of food, places, people, things that she loves and maybe name her bear after one of those.  Like "Target the Bear"? she said.  Even 3 year olds love Target!

Rory picked out a pink camo bear.  She did a great job of walking down the line and looking at all her options before she settled on it.  She is the perfect age for Build-A-Bear, she loved the stuffing process and putting the heart in the bear.  She loved all the magic of rubbing the hear on your head for smarts, arms for strength etc.  Rory then cleaned off her bear and brushed her.  She then dressed her doll in sunglasses, sparkly shoes and a pretty dress.  

When it was time to name her I sat the Bear in front of her and said "take a good look at her and give her a name that fits her." Rory was quiet.  I said "Try giving her a hug and see if something comes to you."  You could see the wheels turning and she tried to think of something.  "Fruity. I want to name her Fruity the Bear."  So Fruity it is!   

Rory is ready to start a new sticker chart right away.  She said she wants green poster board next time and would like to put a bed/chair for Fruity as one of the prizes.  So you will probably see more Sticker Chart blog posts in the future!

I would say that even though Rory had periods of time of not listening and acting out during this 3 months, the sticker chart was successful.  It worked better for motivating her to do things on her own rather then just listen in general.   She has made great strides in getting herself dressed, putting on her coat and shoes herself, going potty on her own, taking her meds on her own and helping to set and clear the table.  

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