It's another one from a few years ago, and the idea may be worn out by now, but at that time, I seriously felt inspired with the idea. I was surprised in the comments on my post that other parents had done the same thing! ... So, worn out idea or not, you may not have heard of it... so here you go :)
Sammy has had a really rough couple of months. It's finally happened. He has become the toddler I KNEW he wouldn't become. Despite all of my efforts, apparently tantrums, hitting, yelling, ignoring, .. you get the gist - is apparently normal and it happens to even Sammys. My perfect Sammy. hehehhe :)
If I've learned any thing this past year... and I have learned a lot..... - I have learned that I really don't know. haha - I know, it sounds weird... and I wish I could explain it right now, but time is short and I need to get to the point before this ends up being another novel :)
Mike and I were talking after the kids went to bed a week or so ago. We were both heart broken at what was going on with Sammy. It seemed like ALL DAY LONG we were getting after him for something. My days were spent hauling him to time out, cleaning up the food he didn't want and had thrown on the floor, trying to comfort Claire after being attacked by her sometimes, not so well-meaning older brother. - We HAD to do something, it seemed the only attention Sam was getting was negative attention and with that, things were getting worse and worse. We talked about charts, puzzles, incentives, "good habit" boxes, consequence boxes.... on and on and on...
A few weeks ago, I read an article in "The Friend" about the gift that was given to President Monson for his birthday. A group of primary kids gave him a jar of "Warm Fuzzies" or pom poms. Each one represented an act of service .... they actually made a mormon message about it if you want to check it out: http://mormonlife.com/story/62219-to-the-rescue-president-monson-and-warm-fuzzies
Any way - As Mike and I were discussing, we came up with a plan! - We pulled out a quart mason jar from the pantry and gave it to Sammy. We have it in a prominent spot where he can easily reach it and see it. Mike and I carry around a pocket full of warm fuzzies every day, and when ever we see Sammy making a good choice, we get dramatically excited and hand Sammy a fuzzy and explain to him why he got it! - He gets excited and runs it to his jar. Once the jar is full, he can choose from a list of fun things he can do to trade in his fuzzies for. A late night movie and popcorn with mom and dad, a ride on the choo choo train at the mall, swimming, etc. -
He LOVES this.
I really feel like we were inspired and I am so grateful. Once the fuzzy is in the jar, it CAN NOT come out. This can't become just one more thing to threaten them with. This is ONLY positive. It's really neat to gather him up in a hug and show him the growing jar of fuzzies and say "SAMMY! Look at all of your good choices!! You are one amazing little boy!" His face lights up every time he gets one. A lot of the times we are just WAITING and WATCHING for any sign of a good choice so we can pull a fuzzy out because each time we do, his whole attitude changes. He remembers that he IS a good boy and that the good things he does are valued by us.
I hope this can help you out with your toddler 'woes' as well! :) Good luck to ya!!!