As a full-time RVer, having a quiet place to get away an be tough. Our current home on wheels consists of momma, daddy, two kids 7 and 10, and two dogs. It can get kind of crazy in there. We knew what we were getting into but went with the "winging it" plan when it came to discipline.
Let me start by saying before I started with Pink Zebra Home, I was a school teacher in a high discipline district for seven years. Before that, I was a behavior specialist. It was literally my job to help parents handle behavior issues with their children. So why was it so hard for me to handle issues with my own children?
I'll tell you why. Everyone has to be onboard. That means ANY and ALL caregivers. This can be tough when mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandma, and grandpa are all a part of that crowd. Well! When you are full-time RVing, the only people involved are those in the RV!
We decided to start a token economy system. Token economy systems are much like pay8ing your kids to behave and you know what? I'm Ok with that. Here is what you need.
How does it work?
First, you need some sort of ticket/token. The Dollar Store sells rolls of tickets for $1.00. You can use marbles, tokens, print out fun money, etc. Something that is tangible for kids to hang onto.
Rewards are the MOST important part of this system. Rewards should be things that your kiddoes LOVE!! The rewards each need to be assigned an amount. How many tokens will it 'cost' for your child for a particular item? MOST IMPORTANTLY whatever rewards you choose to use should ONLY be available in your 'store'. Not something you give them to pacify them at the grocery store, or that they can get from Grandma. Store items are ONLY available with tickets!
In our house (on wheels), rewards are as follows:
30 mins Xbox: 30 tickets
30 mins Ipad: 25 tickets
Tiny Pop (only time our kids can have soda) 15 tickets
Small candy Bar (minis) 10 tickets
Movie Choice: 15 tickets
This teaches the kids how to manage 'money'. I love that they have to decide what is most important to them too. Our little one gets a hold of 15 tickets and buys a soda. The 10-year-old likes to save his up for a day of fun.
How do you earn?
This is totally up to you. We sat down with our kids and told them we were paying them for being children. Good, kind, responsible children. What does that mean?
Our kids earn tickets when:
We catch them being kind to each other.
Finishing a school lesson (tear free)
Helping without being asked to help
Being provoked by the sibling and handling it appropriately.
One of the most important things is that we don't take tickets away. Once they are earned, they are earned. Also, make sure that you ALWAYS have tickets on you. Telling a child, "I owe you 5 tickets" is not the same as handing them 5 tickets.
We have seen a HUGE improvement with behavior and interaction. Remember that kids hae the same feelings adults do. It's ok if they are having a bad day or are tired and fussy. The important thing is teaching them how to handle those situations. I know myself that I have woken up on the wrong side of the bed and haven't been as nice as I should. That's OK! We are human! Don't expect the little ones to be anything more!
This teaches the kids how to manage 'money'. I love that they have to decide what is most important to them too. Our little one gets a hold of 15 tickets and buys a soda. The 10-year-old likes to save his up for a day of fun. It is EZPZ for parents too, and let’s be real, we have a lot going on. The easier it is on the adults, the better we will follow through.