The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering.
~Benjamin Spock, Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care
I'm not a huge Spock fan, but I agree with that! =0)
We needed a system to limit Grace's TV watching. The more TV she watches, the crabbier she gets. Anyone else noticed this? Grace is also all about having stuff, really anything, if she thinks it's hers, she's thrilled and quite protective of it. I wanted to come up with something that would make sense for the way she's wired, so now we do 'TV Tokens.'
I just made these in Word:
Printed them, x 2, cut them out, glued them together so you could see the token on both sides, heat laminated them, and cut them out one more time. Now we have a small supply of tokens.
Heat laminating them, especially after the paper has been cut to size, makes them really sturdy and we haven't lost one yet because they are pretty precious, to Grace.
We keep these high up on our refrigerator door in a magnetic clip. Grace generally gets two tokens a day which usually get handed out when she comes home from school. She can get them taken away for misbehaving - a consequence she hates! and interestingly enough, the fight to watch more is gone. "I'm sorry, you have used all your TV Tokens for today. You will have to find some other fun thing to do now," works great for us because she understands the payment system. There is really no arguing with us because she chose to spend the tokens and now they are gone! This has really only failed when we have failed to give her the tokens... parental failure.
If you want the pattern and can't print from the jpeg above, send me an email and I will send you the Word document!
And a quote the could have been written about us (me):
The beauty of "spacing" children many years apart lies in the fact that parents have time to learn the mistakes that were made with the older ones - which permits them to make exactly the opposite mistakes with the younger ones. ~Sydney J. Harris