Wyatt is generally a very well behaved kid. I honestly never worry about him tearing anything up or being too rowdy with his friends, and he rarely ever gets into anything he shouldn't. His vice, you ask? He sasses like there's no tomorrow. I'm fairly certain that his smart-mouth is a result of taking literally all of the sarcasm he's heard flow from my lips over the years. Oops.
Rather than slap the poor child into next week every time there's an infraction, I came up with the patented Respect-Your-Mom-Meter (say it fast...cute, huh?).
Here's the plan:
Every week day, he'll start fresh. If he's caught sassing, arguing, or being rude or disrespectful, he must slide that day's slider over one notch.
The first two notches are green because we all make honest mistakes and if he only sasses twice a day, trust me, it's an improvement.
If he passes the second notch, he's in the yellow zone...watch it buddy.
Any more slips and he's in the red zone, which means he loses a privelege.
He can move back toward the green zone by using his manners throughout the day and at least pretending he wasn't raised by back-talking wolves.
At the end of the week, if he's primarily been in the green zone, he will be rewarded with a fun activity. This week's activity: erupting the plaster volcano we made last week. If he doesn't behave, he'll have to try again next week. In the picture below, he hadn't been a monster on Monday...I just wanted you to see the whole picture of what the chart looks like. I'll explain at the very bottom of this post how I made it.
I think this will work for several reasons:
1. Punishments (i.e. spankings, time outs) typically work well for Wyatt, but I really only like to use those methods for fits of extreme defiance. Sassing is a habitual behavior I'd like to curb. This meter is a visual tool to show him how he's doing throughout the day so that he can make a decision to modify his behavior.
2. He loves games, and he loves winning games even more. If he sees this as a game in which he's competing against himself, he'll want to win. And if he wins, I win.
3. It kind of puts the ball in his court. I reassure him that I truly want him to get his reward at the end of the week. All he has to do is behave. I don't have to punish every single infraction, and he doesn't get a little reward every time he does what is expected of him. I don't believe in treating him like a dog...no one gives adults a treat every time they show up to work on time or do their job...you do what you're supposed to because you're supposed to, period. The end of the week reward is simply an incentive to change his behavior.
Want to make one? Here's how:
Take two pieces of thick cardstock paper (I used 12x12 sheets).
Using an xacto knife, cut windows into the top sheet, as well as a notch for the sliders' ends to stick out of.
On the bottom sheet, mark where each zone of windows is and color each zone its respective color.
I used my sewing machine to sew straight-ish lines above and below each day's windows. I suppose you could use glue, but I was too impatient to let it dry, and I thought that the thread would look cute.
Measure and cute strips of cardstock to fit each row of windows. Insert strips.
If you want, add faces to boxes and arrowheads to strips.