My new friends, the marble jars. Being a parent is a bunch of trial and error experiments and recently, we tried this technique...and at least for now, we are seeing some success and motivation. There are so many things about raising two toddlers that are challenging (can I get an amen out there???), but one thing that just makes me crazy is having to ask my children to do something over and over and over again. I'm talking about some FIRST TIME OBEDIENCE. Nothing makes me happier than saying, "okay boys, time to go in" and they come running to the back door and say, "yes mommy." We seem to struggle a little at the Stover house with first time obedience, so I introduced a little reward system known as the marble jars. The boys helped me buy the marbles and jars (got em at dollar tree, so they didn't break the bank), then we talked up the idea. We even practiced a few times to make sure they knew exactly what first time obedience means. So, we are a few days in, and honestly are having a lot of luck with obedience. Each time they are obedient (well, not every time... that's really up to the parent) they get the opportunity to earn a marble. Sometimes a simple reminder about the marble jars will turn little disobedient hearts into those that wish to do what mom and dad say. I love to be able to give marbles totally out of the blue, like I was able to do today when we were outside and they both came right in when I asked them to. They are both working to fill up their jars for a "special treat" - they don't even know what the treat is, and honestly, we don't either. But they both enjoy it very much. Here's the kicker, though... for deliberate disobedience, we can remove marbles from their jar. Often, the threat of removing marbles makes them change their tune. Of course, we still rely on other discipline techniques to punish undesirable behaviors, so removing marbles is only one tool in that tool box. So, at least for a moment, the marble jars are working for us!
What about all you other awesome mommies???? What are your "tricks of the trade" to ensure obedience.