You may recall that I have a chart system for behavior for my boys. They get a star for each daily task they are supposed to accomplish (getting up on time, cleaning their bedroom, a good report from school) and more stars for showing positive character attributes like being positive, being a peacemaker, and so on. For every five stars, they get a poker chip "token." They can also earn more tokens by helping around the house.
We have been doing the system for a little more than a year now. It was kind of petering out.
Then I restocked the treasure box. Oh, did I forget to tell you? The boys can use their tokens to purchase things from my treasure box. Mostly I have put little things in there -- stickers, gum, coloring books.
Yesterday I put in two DVDs and a Gameboy Advance game.
Suddenly the behavior is exemplary and all kinds of chores are getting done. This morning S cleaned the bathroom and folded a whole load of laundry.
This is something I have known for a long time and should have applied earlier. When we expect great things from our kids they will very often rise to our expectations.
Especially if it involves a Scooby Doo Gameboy game.