So, the boys have been earning a couple of toy airplanes via a marble jar. See, what I mean is, they played with some friends who had airplanes (Thanks Maren!) and thereby needed some (according to Henry) of their very own. In fact as soon as we departed from playing with said friends Henry said with much boldness, "Let's talk about getting me an airplane!"
I am no sucker.
So, off we went to Target, or maybe it was Walmart (who's to say?) where we promptly purchased $10 worth of toy airplanes.
Did I just hand them right over?
We also purchased 150 marbles.
And we explained:
You want airplanes? You gotta earn 'em.
How do you earn 'em?
1. By cleaning up
2. Getting dressed on command
3. Not fighting
4. Not screaming
Well, the boys were on board. Spencer didn't really "get" it, but still.
I told them they needed 20 marbles to get their airplanes. I figured with their motivation and my determination to improve their behavior, we'd be doling out airplanes within 5 days.
That was three weeks ago.
Have the boys' behaviors changed? Not so much. Other than when I threaten to REMOVE marbles, they usually stop whatever shenanigans they have engaged in... temporarily.
So why did it take three weeks?
Frankly, because I SUCK.
See, I kept forgetting about it. It was just a bit of a challenge. See. I just kept forgetting, unless it was convenient for me to remove marbles. Then I'd remember.
Or, I would promise marbles for good behavior and then never pay up.
Clearly I can not handle working on commission, see?
So, finally, today, after getting serious about follow-through, the 20th marbles were earned.
This is a HUGE relief to me. I am not enjoying the token economy. At all.
In the morning, I shall unwrap the airplanes and put away the marbles for a few weeks.
But, see, the Toy Story 3 toys have hit stores, and I really like them. And the boys really like them, so in the end, in order to feel as though my children are not thoroughly spoiled, I shall be forced make them earn new Buzz and Woody Dolls.
But I still need to figure out what I earn for good behavior, because this is more work for me than for them.
Sigh. What a pain in the tush.