It’s that time of year again. How many acts of kindness can you offer your friends, family and community?
At the end of November, I always take some time out to remember all that I have to be thankful for. Today I am thankful to all of you who come to my website and make it possible for me to help families bring some cooperation and peace to their homes. Take a moment to complete some of these statements and remember all of the things that you have around you every day of the year! Happy Thanksgiving!
Today I want to talk about the importance of rewarding positive behavior in a timely manner when utilizing a positive reinforcement model. There are many reasons why this is important. The first being to understand the effort that you and your family are putting forth is worth seeing through to completion. A positive reinforcement model includes laying clear boundaries, recognizing progress and rewarding good behaviors. In our busy lives it is understandable to feel relief when things are running smoothly, but the fact is, if you want to see them running smoothly for the long term then that behavior deserves and needs to be rewarded.
Another reason to reward as soon as possible is that you want to make sure that your child associates the reward with the positive behavior that he or she performed. If too much time goes by then the impact is not as great and they may not feel the fulfillment of a job well done. Imagine getting a pay check late or receiving gratitude for a labor intensive meal long after it was eaten. You accept the payment and the appreciation but the immediate recognition of your hard work either in a job or at home is much more fulfilling.
How many times have you promised something to your kids only to let time get the better of you and either forget or procrastinate. It happens to the best of us but it is one of the worst things you can do when utilizing a positive reinforcement model. One way that kids will not respond to rewards is by learning that they are empty incentives. Why put forth the effort to support a household that does not follow through with a promise after a job is well done. It teaches indifference and supports poor motivation.
Think about why positive reinforcement is such a powerful tool. Children constantly want attention or prizes that are before them. You are giving them the opportunity to earn them. Keep that positive energy going in the right direction! Reward, acknowledge, and celebrate your children’s positive behavior and you can trust that it will be repeated.
Vlinder was created as a behavior modification game. I have three young boys and I was looking for a fun and innovative way to address behaviors that were unwanted. After networking with other parents and hearing similar stories I implemented a reward system to not only address specific behaviors but also manage hectic times throughout the day. Success was realized with a combination of setting clear boundaries, laying out reasonable expectations and rewarding positive change. It worked so well that I opened up shop. The response has been an inspiring experience for me as I hear other success stories and continue to watch Vlinder evolve. The following is how Vlinder helps to modify your child’s negative patterns using honesty as an example.
How and why are patterns created? They are created because they fill a need. Perhaps the need was to stay out of trouble. The lying or sneakiness may have met a short term goal. Once it works it becomes a repeat offense and the pattern is born.
Learning the value of honesty is a process that children learn over time. Usually it doesn’t earn more then praise from parents and family members. It makes sense that our little ones resort to little white lies to avoid getting into trouble. Rewards are immediate and, in their world, worth it. Punishing this behavior shows them the cost of lying. I proffer that if punishing alone worked then, patterns could not be created. Consequences without alternative routes is only half the lesson. Taking the time to reward the positive patterns is just as important as setting firm boundaries.
Vlinder provides a tangible way for both parent and child to look at what is expected and reward positive behavior. It helps to set boundaries while keeping it positive and fun. Lets face it, the negative behaviors stick out like a sore thumb compared to the positive behaviors we are looking for. These are the behaviors that need to be recognized and celebrated so that they can be repeated.
Utilize the blank spaces on the Vlinder Task Sheets to address the negative patterns that you see in your child. Good tasks for honesty are to fess up before lying, looking for alternative solutions or admitting guilt. These are just some examples. Be creative and remember change takes time.
If you would like help to structure the sheet to meet your needs simply contact us on the contact page of our website, www.ourbreakthroughs.com/contact.
The most important team is family. A family supports one another to meet their potential. Without proper recognition of this ultimate goal, we put important family matters on a back burner. To put family first takes intention. We must recognize the need and follow steps to meet that need. Note I am not suggesting that there has to be a problem for this to be a fact. In a busy world where we rely on family the most, our efforts to give as much as we take are taxing and stressful. Follow these five steps to identify your need, define your goal and support your team.
The first step is to identify your goal. I suggested that supporting family members is a need. It is better to be more specific when defining the goal. Examples are limiting work related events in the home or creating special time to address personal family issues.
The second step is to brainstorm ideas to meet your goal. Be creative. Write down all the ideas, no matter how random they seem.
The third step is to choose which course you wish to follow. Be specific and write down exactly what you aim to do.
The fourth step is to implement your solution. Allow for a period of time to pass and be aware of the changes that occur in your home with your new routine. Don’t despair if you are not seeing the results as quickly as you had hoped. Change takes time.
The final step is to evaluate your results. This is an important step. It lets you know whether or not you have met your goal or if you need to redefine the problem. The important thing is that you have defined a problem, sought a solution and perhaps most important, you are aware.
Follow these steps as many times as needed. Results will vary, dependent on your goal and your definition of success. Using intention to implement new strategies to organize your priorities is already a step in the right direction.
So far you have brainstormed different expectations that you have for your child and taken the time to understand why they are important to you. That inventory became three smaller lists which were ordered according to your child’s capabilities. Finally, you shared your work with your child gleaning helpful information to support you in your journey toward parenting with intention.
Step four is to compile a list of tasks and expectations based on your efforts from the past week. This list should reflect what you want to begin working on in the present. Save your notes for future reviews. When implementing a new system it is best to start small and add additional responsibilities as success is achieved. Enjoy sharing the list with your child and celebrate the fact that they have reached an age where you are trusting them to do their part in running a smooth household.
This concludes the first series of Parenting with Intention. I hope that you have found it helpful. I have enjoyed being on this part of the journey with you. You have not only created a list but also opened up a communication channel that will serve you well. Some families use their lists to create chore charts. Others use it to implement a parenting plan. Vlinder was created to implement a behavior modification plan with a reward system. You can learn more information about Vlinder on the About Page of my website, www.ourbreakthroughs.com.
Now you have a categorized list of expectations and reasons for their importance.
Step three is to have a structured review of your list with your child. This is one of my favorite steps because you have the opportunity to learn from one another.
Before you start your conversation here are some things to consider.
- All the expectations you have, are things you have done for them in the past and are now handing over. You will have more success if your child understands your motivation. For example, the message should be clearing your own plate means you have earned more responsibility not that you are being punished.
- Children thrive in structure and they need to feel a part of something important. Your home is meant to fulfill those needs. By creating clarity of their responsibilities and allowing them to take part in the successful running of your home you are giving them the chance to succeed.
- This is not a lecture. You and your child are in step three to learn from one another.
- Your child is a wealth of knowledge as to what will motivate them. By allowing them to be part of this process you are opening up communication that will improve your level of success.
- Take some time to think of your expectations as you would have as a child.
- Did you like helping?
- Were you a people pleaser?
- Were you competitive?
- Were you resistant to change?
- You and you child can take notes. If they aren’t writing yet encourage pictures.
During the conversation I suggest the following questions.
- How do you feel about being old enough to help around the house?
- Which jobs seem easy? Hard?
- What can I do to help you?
- What other jobs do you think you can do?
- When is the best time of day for you to help?
- If you could take one job off the list which one would it be and why?
By the end of the conversation you and your child should have a clearer understanding of your needs and wants for daily tasks and behaviors. You should also have a better insight as to what your child’s challenges are and what motivational tools you can utilize to overcome them. A final list is not necessary at this point. Take a break and enjoy the productive time you have spent.
Come join us on Facebook. Vlinder (https://www.facebook.com/groups/Vlindersbreakthrough/) is a group where you can share your thoughts or experiences as we move forward.
Vlinder provides a list of expectations and explanations on Task Sheets. Learn more about it at www.ourbreakthroughs.com/about.
Parenting with intention is showing determination to match your goals with your actions. In the first step you wrote a list of expectations that you have for your child and considered why it was important. Now you can start to prioritize.
Parenting can appear overwhelming. As you review your list it may appear that your goals are unachievable. We are going to take this one step at a time. At the end of this process you will have a clear understanding of your needs and wants and how to realize them.
Step two is a review and clean up. Take your brainstorming notes and divide them into three areas. The first category is for tasks or expectations that are already being met on a daily basis, a good place to start. When we begin to look at rewarding positive behavior these will serve you well in celebrating strengths in your child’s behavior.
The second category is for tasks that have been achieved at times but still have room for improvement. When a child needs reminders to complete a task such as brushing their teeth or putting on their shoes then it should go in this category.
Finally, the third category is reserved for tasks that are a constant effort. Many of these goals appear unachievable because your child has learned how to get around them. We will take these goals and address them a few at a time.
This is an opportunity for you to share your list with your child. They will have some good ideas as to what you ask of them. Add more expectations to the list as they arise. Part of reviewing notes is understanding where you have holes.
Step 1 and 2 of Parenting with Intention should be repeated continuously as you go through this process.
Vlinder provides a list of expectations and explanations on Task Sheets. Learn more about it at www.ourbreakthroughs.com/about.
To start with Parenting with Intention at the beginning visit my blog at www.ourbreakthoughs.com/blog.
As parents it’s our job to raise our children to be productive members of society. We teach them respect, honor and perseverance. I would like you to embark on a journey with me to explore some steps to parent with intention. It will only take a few minutes of your time. We will look at the tools you have in place and learn how to utilize them differently.
The first step is to decide what your expectations are for your child, and why. A clean room is not only important for sanitary reasons but it also helps with emotional stability. Wearing appropriate clothes is not only important to stay warm or cool but it also communicates how you are feeling and who you are.
There are many examples of how our expectations are goal driven for our child’s ultimate success. If we fail to explain or to clearly understand, we parent with intuition rather than with intention.
Write some expectations that you have. Brainstorm different reasons why they are important to you, to your child and to your household. Save the list and we will talk about what to do with it in the next step.
Come join us on Facebook. Vlinder is a group where you can share your thoughts or experiences as we move forward.