Marbles To the Rescue!

So I have one VERY bright boy. But he’s a handful. And not just a little handful, but at GIANT handful. He always has something to say in response to anything I have to say to him. Anything. Seriously, that kid will be either one of two things when he grows up: a lawyer or a hostage negotiator. He can talk himself out of anything.
As cute as this may be at times, its is honestly very, very tiring. I find myself getting more and more upset by the moment at times and shamefully resort to yelling often. I HATE this. Really, really do. I am always asking him, “Why aren’t you listening to me?!?!”
So I’ve pretty much had it and decided that something must be done. Especially since Brandon is gone so much, I am in this on my own. And I refuse to be the mom that is run over by her kids. Refuse. I am a teacher after all. A college educated one. ha. I’ve had all the training in the world on how to deal with kids, so surely I learned something in that training to use on my crazy one.
And this is what I have come up with…
I call this the Marble System. I’m sure many of you have heard of this or do this yourself. It’s a very simple and powerful discipline/character building tool. I used this often while teaching 4th grade as a reward system for the class…if everyone finished their work, they would get to put a marble or two in the ┬ásmall jar from the “mother” jar. When the small jar was filled up, they usually were given a reward of some kind…extra recess, stickers, sometimes even a party of some sort.
As I was thinking over a positive reward system I could use for Jake, I just couldn’t settle on one that wasn’t too confusing for his 4year old mind or too difficult for for me to maintain. I remembered that my sister used the marble system for her kids so I thought I would give it a try. But first I needed to get a reward that Jake would be happy to work for. So cue Target….
I buckled Jake and Evy into that amazing double seated cart and drove him up and down the toy aisles. I told him he could choose whatever he wanted, and he chose this Thor helmet and hammer. He was so excited.
{side note: Evy choose a GIANT doll shopping cart/car combo that she insisted on holding in her lap, the entire time while in the cart and then of course when we arrived at the cash register there was no price tag on it, so we had to wait while they looked for it. The girl behind us finally found the price on her iphone. classic, ha.}
So all I needed at this point was marbles, since Target didn’t have any. Thank God for good friends as I asked on facebook where I could buy some marbles and my teacher friend Suzanne came to my rescue with a big bag of them that she left on my doorstep {thanks Suzanne!!}.
So here’s how I’m working my Marble System: every time Jake does something I ask to do without screaming, kicking or yelling, he gets a marble. If he automatically says, “Yes, Mommy”, he gets two. If he does the opposite, he gets one taken away. If he hits or does something inappropriate, he gets two taken away. When he fills the jar up to the brim, we will have a Marble Party where he gets his “treat”. I figure it will take at least a week. The next “treat” will be picked out by me and much cheaper. :)
And he’s such a happy camper…seriously, this is working so very well! He LOVES it!!
I will keep you all updated on the progress. Do any of you use the marble system? What do you use to help your kids stay on track?
xoxo

4 thoughts on “Marbles To the Rescue!

  1. 1
    Rebecca says:

    My son listens pretty well most of the time, but I struggle with my oldest daughter. She's almost 5 and often seems to be in her own world while I'm talking to her. It gets very frustrating and I find myself yelling a lot too. :( I think I'll give this marble system a try too. Thanks!

  2. 2
    Jenni says:

    good luck! sounds like a great system! i might need to steal it and try it on my little lola, she is my little stinker :)

  3. 3
    Just Jill says:

    We do something similar with Levi and Reagan. We put $10 worth of quarters in a small jar for each of them. If they don't do what we say the first time, we take a quarter away. After two weeks, we give them the money they have left and they can spend it on whatever they want. They can only buy whatever their quarters will buy. We do not cover anything overbudget! It worked great, but we have kind of gotten away from it since school started. I feel your pain, though! I can yell until I pass out to no avail, but all Lonnie has to do is walk in the room. Makes me crazy!

  4. 4
    Heather says:

    I have a 6yr old 1st grader that I am using a similar system on since school started…his teacher actually sends stickers home everyday if he has good behavior…I created a "Friday reward Jar" that has slips of paper in it reading "new nerf darts," "Dairy Queen mini blizzard," "Sonic Rootbeer float," "Redbox movie rentals," "Barnes & Noble date night," etc…and if he gets stickers everyday that week he gets to draw a slip of paper from the jar and that is his reward…we are on week 2 of stickers everyday…;) Need to incorporate this in the daily homelife too…thanks for the idea!

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