Monday, 28 January 2013

Stickers not sticks

Continuing my thoughts on disciplining your piglet, let's move to the positive.  Apparently we spend much more time saying No to our piglets, than How brilliant and beautiful you are, I love you little piglet.  

It can be easy when piglets are trotting around quietly in a well-behaved manner to go:  "Oh thank God, a few minutes to myself," and not tempt fate by praising them, leading to them saying:  "Can I have some sweets, then, Why not? but you said ..."  
One way which both reminds me to give praise and positively reinforces good behaviour is the sticker chart.  With my cynical adult self, I was sceptical about this when I first heard of it, but Hey, it works for McDonalds.  I believe they have a very successful Employee of the Month certification scheme.  
Piglet is outwardly scornful of the sticker chart.  In actuality she enjoys winning stickers.  When the sticker chart fell into abeyance recently, she said in a careless yet pointed manipulative tone:  "I don't care about stickers, it's good that we're not bothering with them any more."  Being an experienced piglet manager, I interpreted this piglet-speak correctly and immediately reinstated the sticker chart on the fridge to much frolicking and festivity.  
We include stickers Piglet brings home from school and from the dentist; these cover four sticker squares.  Each sticker is worth a penny at the end of the week to spend in Mr Mac's Magical Emporium.  Initially I thought about making each sticker 10p but I'm glad I didn't as they pour in thick and fast some days.  
I award stickers for doing things immediately on being told to do them (without whining) and two stickers if the task is done without being asked (e..g., getting up - not before 7 a.m., getting dressed, doing teeth).  At the start of the week, Piglet usually has to be reminded that she isn't getting any stickers because she's having to be shouted at and dragging her feet about all her tasks but by the end, she can get six or seven stickers in a morning.  
It certainly beats the previous regime of:  I will say it nicely once, firmly once and THEN I WILL START SHOUTING!!!  

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