Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Rewarding behaviour

Well it's not been the easiest couple of days. Mini has had several meltdowns, and has been very tired recently which has contributed to those meltdowns.  The NC has been ill, and hasn't had masses of patience as a result. So he's not been as....easygoing as normal. Both the NC and Mini have clashed somewhat these last few days.


Mini has not wet himself day or night (except one episode), or soiled himself at all for a couple of weeks now and we're so so proud of him. There's been no smeared or hidden poo. Even his aim has improved and the grout between the floor tiles has dried out!
He's proud of himself, and is clearly feeling a great sense of achievement, and has commented about how nice it is to be back to normal again. He's even finished the reward charts for dryness too, and can't wait for me to set up a new reward chart for something else...yet to be decided.

I know reward charts don't work for everyone, but for Mini they do...take these 'dry in the day' ones...we don't insist he's dry 7 days in a row, or mon-fri, but rather when he's got 5 stickers, he gets a dip in the 'grab bag' of treats. Once he's managed 5 successful episodes, we up it to 7 so it's a bit longer before he gets the grab bag, and so on. We usually do it for 4 or 5 treats, and then he knows that by the end of the chart we expect him to be able to stay dry without having treats. We don't make a song or dance if he's not achieved a sticker that day, just try to encourage him the next day. Usually by the 3rd treat he's getting stickers nearly every day rather than 1/2 a week. There is no timelimit, we use these charts til he's met each goal.

We've rewarded dryness, finishing drinks at mealtimes (he was dehydrated for sometime after just not drinking much), remembering to wee before bed, remembering to brush his teeth. I need to spend some time choosing the next chart aim...it needs to be achievable enough so that Mini won't get frustrated, and something that he should be able to do without necessarily be reminded by the end of it all. The old health visitor woman who advised following Webster Stratton would call this 'positive behaviour modification', I call this rewarding the good behaviour, whilst trying to ignore some of the bad!

Mini's grab bag is a lucky dip...he has no idea what's in there. It contains mini lego packs, small packs of sweets, written promises (such as a park trip, buying a postcard to send to nanny, a visit to the bakers to choose a cake), rubbers, sheets of stickers, even those mini boxes of Coco Pops (makes a change from his normal Shreddies or Cheerios!). In the past, it's had a yoyo, a whoopee cushion, books, crayons...all sorts.

I'm even thinking of asking the NC to make me one - with mini bottles of wine, bars of galaxy, vouchers for facials, nail varnishes, Radley bags!!! Perhaps I should get a sticker for each day I've remained calm, safe, cuddly mummy, not shouty, wound-up, cross mummy?
Any more suggestions for a grown up reward chart?

I've added a resources page to the site now which has got more detail about how we use the reward charts, and other things we use to reward the good, and acknowledge the bad. I've even included photographs of my own handiwork (no sniggering please!).


  1. ohh minis grab bag sounds great as does a mummy one! Glad he has craced the wetting and hope that continues for you x

  2. Thank you - I think there is a a definite need for a mummy grab bag!

  3. I'm with you on ignoring the bad behaviour and praising the good. We have tried all sorts and it is only ignoring that works for Pickle. We have reward charts too, but I have to change them regularly otherwise the novelty wears off. But generally they work well. I love the grab bag idea. That's brilliant. May have to steal that :). Now if it were a grown-up one for me, I'm thinking all-expenses-paid tickets for a weekend in Barcelona, all by myself sans enfants! Can you imagine? *drifts off into Dreamland.

  4. I'm loving the idea of a weekend away - New York appeals to me! Now don't get me wrong, we reward the good behaviour, but we do also acknowledge and deal with the bad - see my latest page on Resources - http://theboysbehaviour.blogspot.com/p/resources.html

  5. We have been using a reward chart for a while now with our oldest son and it works a treat. The grab bag is a great idea, I think i'll give that one a go.
    Lovely blog
    Aimee x

    1. Thanks Aimee. Have fun filling up a grab bag :-)