Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hey Gemstone Jar, See ya Paci!

We've been getting rid of bad behaviors around here and rewarding good behaviors!
With a constant state of nausea and limited abilities as a tired, pregnant momma I often feel defeated around the house. Things just aren't in my normal flow, and my ability to keep up is stunted.

I do spend the maximum amount of time with Adeline and Gideon as possible so I decided to take control of that and work on some behavior issues with them.

Adeline recently got her own gemstone jar.
Gemstone jar is a pretty special thing around here.
We got some glass gems at Hobby Lobby along with a jar.
She picked out some stickers to decorate it, and I took a paint pen and drew on some goals. 
It's pretty simple as she does something good, kind, productive etc. she gets a gem.
If she does something wrong, unkind, or disobedient she gets a gem removed.
I got this idea from my friend Talia who had a jar for her 4 year old and 2 year old at her house. I thought it was a pretty neat idea and replicated it days later. 

If she fills up her jar to the first level we can go out for ice cream.
The second level we'll take her to the park.
The third level she can go to the store and pick out something of her choice.
The incentives really appeal to her, and to remove a gem stone for bad behavior is really a blow for her.
Unfortunately for the first week she had no surplus at all.
She would get more gemstones removed than she would earn in a day.
I figured this was fine for her and more incentive to more good than bad, and then I realized that maybe I'm focusing too much on the bad behavior of my three year old, and not encouraging her enough for the positive behavior.
So now she gets a gemstone for unexpected kindness like sharing her snack with brother, or saying thank you to a grown up all on her own, or remembering to wash her hands without being told after she uses the bathroom. She's feeling a real sense of pride and responsibility and it's become a really rewarding system for us in the two weeks we've used it.
I do admit that I kind of abuse it every now in then. For example, last night when I could only find one flip-flop I said, "Find Mommy's other shoe for a gemstone!!!" Man that flip-flop appeared almost as fast as I asked for it.
Haha, oh well.

As for my sweet little Gideon he really mostly has great behavior. He's such a refreshing child! Always happy and content, usually quiet and pleased. I can definitely tell he's all boy though, he gets into so much more than Addie did and he climbs and explores and has the bumps and bruises to prove it.

The only thing I was concerned about was his pacifier. I feel like he's made a transition from baby to toddler lately, and I just don't really see the need for a toddler with a paci. It was advised to me that I let him keep it until he was 2 or old enough to understand why I'd take it away. My reasoning in that was that if I waited much longer than he'd associate no pacifier for Gideon and potential paci for Selah. I don't think that's fair, so 2 weeks ago... I just stopped giving it to him, and he really didn't care much. He was a little confused and whiny for 2 days during short spurts when he was looking for some comfort and didn't have a paci in his mouth. A little extra cuddles and he never looked back.
It was a lot less dramatic than I expected it to be. Adeline gave up her paci at 5-6 months on her own so I never had to take it away. I have friends with stories about paci withdrawal and methods of taking them away, and I was just expecting it to be a big deal. I guess he's just like his Daddy, not very much in Gideon's world is a big deal.

I can't wait to see how little Selah's personality fits in. I pray every day for a peaceful baby, and no matter what personality God's graced her with I really hope she's a peaceful newborn like her brother was. ;)

Anyway, I hope you all have a blessed day! We've had such a crazy busy week and we're off now to meet a new play group. Tomorrow we have a different play group date, and I'm painting with my friend Dawn and some of her friends tomorrow night. Friday is our lifegroup bible study and then onto a full weekend.
Hopefully I can find some time in there to do some reading and work on my embroidery project.
The finished product looks amazing in my head, so uh I just need to start.
Blessings and lots of love out to you!


  1. I love the jar! One more thing to add in my parenting book of things to do once I have a child. You are such an inspiration and I love that you are always coming up with new ways to reward and teach your children. Plus it help to have the cutest kids ever! Your kid's will be such amazing people to have in this world when they are adults because of all the time and dedication you put into them now!

    1. Haha, well it wasn't my idea, I just bummed it from another Mom! I do think it's pretty awesome. I guess it's similar to a sticker chart or other reward systems. This one is just really hands on and visual so it's working for Adeline!

      Thank you for saying such kind things Sandi. You really are so sweet!

  2. That jar idea sounds like a GEM! - haha - I'll have to remember it for when Eloise is old enough to understand. I have a feeling she is going to be a firecracker!

    El gave up her paci at 5-6 months also (she only used it at nap/bed time)... so we never had an issue. It's great that Gideon was so easy going about giving his up! Isn't it a little bittersweet though... giving up the "baby" things? I guess you have another baby coming to keep up with... but I find myself a little nostalgic for baby days. We are down to 2 nursings a day - and though I am SO glad to be almost done... I find myself missing my *baby*. I just tell myself to live each day in itself or I'll constantly be looking back on what was or could have been!

    I look forward to watching little Selah fit into your family! :)

    1. Haha!! She really seems so sweet! I do think it's a great idea, and it's worked so well in our house!

      I totally feel ya momma! I was the same way wrapping up nursing with Addie, and before I knew it I had another one baking and soon nursing. Time goes quickly, I think you're doing so well.

      Thank you Devon :)

  3. I LOVE the Gemstone Jar! That thing is worth a million bucks! I spent nearly a week online researching chore charts for Lexie. After much price scanning & deliberating I went with one that is made by Melissa & Doug. It has a ton of chores to choose from & some blank magnets to write your own on & features many smiling faces for a great job done. We have been using it for about 2 weeks now. I'm not sure if it's making a huge difference yet or not, but it's definitely something that Lexie looks forward to going to each night before bed. I am thinking I'd like to incorporate a Gemstone Jar here as well & use it all throughout the day as you mentioned. :) I think something even more visual than the chart & something where we can take away & add to as the day goes on would be better for her. Plus, how cute is that thing!

  4. Another great - & neat! - thing about a Gemstone Jar is that Lexie has a love for rocks, LOL! She calls them her magic jewels or crystals so I think she'd love this!

    1. I adore chore charts. They haven't been implemented in this house hold yet, but one day in the future I see myself and chore charts in a love affair!
      Sounds like LExi would love the gemstone jar.
      Addie was super pumped about picking out her gems, stickers, and decorating it. Seriously it has really helped as incentive for her! Let me know if you try it how it works!!