Clink! Did you hear that? That was the sound of another marble being dropped into one of the glass jars of our family’s marble reward system.
What is a marble reward system, I hear you say? Just the best, most successful reward and discipline system I have ever tried with my children!
Now I’m not sure who came up with this genius idea, but I stumbled across it earlier this year over at Mrs D Plus 3 and I’m so glad I did.
I had tried a lot of different reward systems and charts over the years, but my children always lost interest in them pretty quickly. I needed something a little different that would hold the attention of my 10-year-old just as well as my five-year-old.
Enter the marble reward system. I had a good feeling about this as soon as I read about it and headed straight to my local discount store to pick up a few jars and enough marbles to fill them.
When the girls arrived home from school that day, I sat them down and explained that from now on we were going to use marbles to reward their behaviour.
This is how it works
Every time my children complete a task or are behaving well, a marble is placed in the jar. When they are not, a warning is given then a marble is removed from their jar if the poor behaviour continues.
Once they have reached the top of the jar they are able to select a ‘prize’ of their choice – this is usually something they have been hoping to get for some time such as small toy, craft, book or similar, but you could also swap this with a particular activity instead.
My only warning is that it’s highly addictive! My children hate to lose marbles and are always asking whether they can get a marble for completing particular tasks around the house.
What you need
- Jars for each child – I chose Mason-type jars with a chalk label on the front (the size of the jar could be adjusted depending on the age of the child if you felt this was appropriate).
- A larger jar to store all of the marbles.
- Lots of marbles (make sure you have enough to fill each of the jars – I ended up having to make a second run to the store to get more marbles as the jars were filling up because I realised there wouldn’t be enough!).
How to set it up
- Let your children decorate their jar.
- Have a chat with your children about how the reward system works and make a list together of the types of activities that might earn them marble as well as the type of behaviour that might lead to one being taken away so they are clear on how it all works.
- Make it fun and get your children involved.
Several months in and the marble reward system is still going strong in our house. I find it totally amazing what my children will do to earn a marble!
They receive marbles for everything from sleeping in their own rooms all night to making their beds, feeding the dog to unpacking their school bags when they get home. The choice is endless!
The beauty about this system is that you can alter the rewards to suit you and your family, particularly if you are struggling with a particular behaviour.
So give it a try, you might be as pleasantly surprised as I was!
Do you use a reward system in your house? Have you ever tried the marble reward system?