Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Craft Stick Rewards and Chocolate

(For more parenting tips, check out the links at We are That Family.

So...in the continued effort to improve efficiency in our home, we are trying a new "positive reinforcement" idea. I put a "stick" in the kid's "cup" every time I catch him or her engaging in desirable behavior - sharing, asking nicely, not fighting, etc. Each stick stands for 10 minutes of t.v. or fun computer time (not their learning games).

It is really helping me make the decision for the "I wanna watch tv." request. We just look at their cups to see if they've earned enough time. We've only been doing this for about five days, but it is working so far. Sissy doesn't really understand that the sticks stand for something else. She's just excited about having a stick. ("I wana stick.") They can lose a craft stick for bad behavior, too. Our former system of losing privileges wasn't working with Dash anymore. (He was losing all of his privileges for the day too often.) We just needed to take a step back and try something new.

Just for fun, yesterday they went outside and painted the craft sticks. Our completed sticks...I'm going to let them decorate their cups today with stickers, etc., too.

In other news...I think I have mentioned before that my kids will eat practically anything if it is in frozen form. Here is one of our latest homemade "ice cream" treats. I started out making chocolate chia shakes that were inspired by ideas from Green and Crunchy and Kristen's Raw. The ingredients were raw soaked cashews, soaked dates, lucuma powder, raw cacao powder, soaked chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc.

I actually really enjoy drinking it, and Tornado drank it well, too. Dash was not really crazy about it, and neither was Sissy. It's funny; they tried it, didn't like it, but it was so tempting seeing Tornado and me drinking something thick and chocolaty from a straw - they asked for their cups back. They just barely sipped it, though, so I decided to make ice cream (by just freezing it in a bowl) out of their leftovers. I have made different versions with slightly different ingredients (adding banana, avocado, maybe a little agave nectar), but they love it just the same. They don't call it "the ice cream that's only sort of like ice cream only not as good." It's just ice cream to them, and they devour it.
In "slightly" less healthy (but "pretty" healthy) news...we've also been enjoying chocolate covered nuts these days. I just melt dark chocolate or vegan chocolate chips in the microwave, add a little milk, stir, dump in a bunch of nuts (any kind, the softer the better - like pecans or walnuts...almonds are good but even better if you use sliced almonds), stir, and drop spoonfuls on wax paper. Mmmm, I had really missed chocolate covered nuts; it had been awhile.


Kristi_runwatch said...

Hi, Jenny - Love the craft stick idea! I've been thinking about doing some kind of reinforcer, so it's nice to see ideas!
Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I'm with you on not being a morning person... hence why the family is often still in bed at 8am! I know I should probably get up earlier, but it does not "work for me"! :)

Sheri (Green & Crunchy) said...

Hi there! The craft stick idea is a good one! How is it working out?
Your vegan ice cream looks scrumptious, and those chocolate covered nuts...OH MY!! I might whip some up as a treat for my gang tomorrow (or maybe I'll just keep them all to myself :)

Cute, cute kids you have!

penguinsandladybugs said...

My kids are 12 and 14, but we did something similar with sticks when they were young...fairly effective :) I am so glad you visited my site. I have recently revamped my eating and I'll be back to visit...that ice cream looks really good!