Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Marble System: Part 1

Cate’s a pretty good kid. She doesn’t get into a ton of trouble, follows directions moderately well, and is mostly happy.  That being said, she’s four.  (Rather, she’s FOUR AND A HALF as she would tell you.)  Whether you’re kid is good or not, there’s something to be said for being four (and a half);  that something is the fact that there will be days when you wish there was a military boarding school suitable for your preschooler.  No kid is perfect (no matter how much you think yours is), nor is any kid 100% bad (also no matter how much you think yours is!).  Kids are a nice blend of good and not so good.  Another way I like to think of it is there is good and there is ‘still learning.’ 

It’s because of those ‘still learning’ times (aka the days I wish I was on a month-long vacation  in Tahiti.  ALONE.), that the Hubs and I started using The Marble System.  We’re having wild success using this variation with Cate and many people have seen that it’s successful (largely through my Facebook pictures) and asked me about how it works.  If you’re one of those people, then this one’s for you: a (few) blog post(s) dedicated entirely to The Marble System (TMS).

For today, let's take a look at supplies.  That will give you a chance to get them all together so you can get started! 

You will need:

*Two (2) Clear Jars          Purpose: Hold the marbles 
We used Starbucks Refrigerated Frappucino Bottles.  Why? They’re pretty and I had them to repurpose.  (Side note: We actually started with 2 different jars that were ugly and didn’t match.  I think one was from spaghetti sauce.  Why am I telling you this? Because you can start with what you HAVE and then work your way to something “pretty.” There’s no reason you can’t start this right now.

*Marbles                             Purpose: Keeping track of behavior
You could use other small objects that you have many of but don’t need to use.  I suggest something small and uniform, but also attractive to your child.   We looked at a number of options, but chose marbles because we have a mix of marble colors and Cate LOVES getting to pick out pretty ones for the good jar and ugly ones for the bad jar. 

*An Iron Will                      Purpose: Making it actually work
Here’s where the rubber meets the road: Are you willing to actually do what it takes to make TMS work? If you’re only going to do it halfway, only give marbles (good OR bad) every once in a while,  make them simply a punishment, or not follow through and give rewards (it’s a rewards-based system), then it’s not going to work.  Know that before you start it.  

Today's Challenge:  Gather your supplies!