Encourage good behavior with a homemade puzzle
Another hack-tastic reward system! The beauty of this system is that the reward itself acts as a reminder about the desired behavior. From Sarah:
My 7 year-old son can be particularly stubborn and no matter how much we beg, plead, or reason with him, he stands his ground. Sometimes I resort to bribery. He likes puzzles so I came up with puzzles to help him do certain things. It started the summer before Kindergarten -- he already knew how to tie his shoes, but claimed that he “forgot” how over the summer since he wore sandals all summer. So I found a pair of running shoes that he wanted online (I used Zappos.com) and printed out two full-sized pictures. One was in color and the other black and white. I then decided that I wanted him to tie his shoes for two weeks on his own before I would buy him the shoes he wanted so I cut the colored picture into the appropriate number of “puzzle” pieces. Then every time he tied his shoes on his own he earned one piece that he could tape onto the black and white picture in the correct spot. When the puzzle was complete we ordered him his shoes.
The puzzle also worked in getting rid of a nasty nose rubbing habit that was making his face raw (I made a giant nose puzzle and he earned a Star Wars DVD). Next we are thinking of a finger puzzle to see if we can tackle nail-biting.