Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sticker Charting

Here's why I pretend to be a sticker chart expert. There must be someone out there reading this whose little ones are not yet old enough for sticker charts. And so I share my knowledge, which is what I have learned over the past week and a half.

1. Make an organized sticker chart. For example, each kid has a row and each day of the week has a column.

As you can see, our sticker chart easily became very disorganized.


Allie is missing a bunch of stickers. I can confirm that she has been sleeping in her bed all night, every night.

2. Plan what the prizes will be and exactly how many stickers you need for that prize before you start the sticker chart with the kids.

I totally screwed this up. Did you even realize that it is possible to screw up a sticker chart? I didn't expect the sticker chart to work so I blurted out that the the girls could pick out a prize at Target after 5 stickers (or 5 nights of sleeping in their beds.) Well, five nights/stickers put us two days before we could make it to Target. Not that two days is a big deal but I think that kids need to have that instant prize. They need to see that they actually will get something if they follow the rules.

3. Be flexible.

Emily has been getting out of her beds on some nights and coming into our room. I immediately hug her and bring her back to her own bed. We hug for a minute, I tell her that she is doing a great job, and then I leave her in her bed. There was one night that she came into our room three times. The other nights, she has been doing extremely well. Especially if I compare this to three months ago. I don't want to discourage her so she has been earning stickers.

Our Update

So on Sunday, we brought the girls to Target to pick out their first prizes. In the middle of the week, Emily told me that she wanted a Belle set. And she stuck to it. Anna picked out a coloring book from the $1 section. Allie picked out a cloth/fuzzy rose and then insisted that Wally and Elmo wanted a headband. How to do you like the sneakiness of that one? She had me add a construction paper penguin, Wally, to the sticker chart and then told us that he really wanted a pink headband for earning stickers.

I was hoping that Target would not have any Belle sets but they did and you should have seen the joy on Em's face as her little hands clenched the box. I'm too much of a softie and I could not break up the set and make her earn a little each week. Especially not after she had the box in her hands.

It is funny to see the girls' different personalities. Emily thought long and hard about what she wanted and she has been playing with that Belle set every day. After Em picked out a Disney thing, we decided that, to be fair, Allie and Anna could also pick out a Disney set. FOR THIS WEEK ONLY. Allie and Anna were so wishy-washy. Gah! "I want this one. No, I want that one." They have spent the week stealing pieces from Em's Belle set.

I was afraid that Em would revert back to her bad habits after she had that Belle set so I told the girls that if they didn't continue to sleep in their own beds by themselves, the toys would return to the store by themselves in the middle of the night. That seems to have done the trick. We had two nights in a row where no one made a peep.

So this week's prize is M&Ms. The girls have been told that they will get M&Ms and that's it. And they are very excited about the M&Ms. Em has been telling me that she wants an Ariel set for another prize. We had an Ariel set but those Disney toys are not meant to be played with and Ariel is in two pieces now. I told her maybe in the future. And believe me, I will take your advice and break that set up so they earn a few pieces each week.

We have big plans for next week. We are going to take them to see Tangled (if it is still playing, which I think it should be.) They know NOTHING about that plan at all and won't until we walk into the movie theater. They have never been to the movies so I think that it will be a BIG prize/surprise.

I can't believe I have kids who sleep in their own beds! Without me!! And I can't believe all it took was a sticker chart.

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Tina Michelle said...

So glad it is working. Um, what is a belle set or ariel set? I think I am lost on that one. :)

Katie said...

Sarah, that is awesome! I know all too well how awesome that is.

Portlandlynn said...

Don't sell yourself short. I am sure the sticker chart helped. But I also think that you laying down the line of it not working anymore had a lot to do with it, too. I think they saw that you couldn't keep getting up with them! Good for all of them (and you and your husband that they are sticking to it).

Souza Sisters said...

I am starting a sticker chart with one of my daughters. I hope we have success like you did!! We LOVED Tangled!! It's such a good movie! I'm sure your girls will love it!

Tracy said...

They will LOVE Tangled. You can read about our 1st movie theater experience with Tangled here All I can say is boosters!! Enjoy!

Sarah said...

Tina Michelle - A Belle (or Ariel) set is just a box with a bunch of Belle toys in it. There was Belle with 3 different outfits, Mrs. Potts, Chip, a library chair, a book, a cart for Mrs. Potts and Chip.

Tracy - I read your post back in December and I remember thinking the same thing as I was reading it - "Theaters have boosters??" We had the seat issue at the circus. The last movie I saw in the theaters was Mystic River so it has been a long time. It will be interesting to see if the theaters here have them.

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited for you that the girls are sleeping in their own beds!! That's great!
~Molly (and Maggie, she's happy for you too)