This particular blog post came as inspiration after my children had been misbehaving so badly to the extent that I was yelling at them even for the tiniest bit of things. (Yes, I know, I am a yeller, and I am trying so hard to stop...) Which is why I believe this is going to work for our entire family!!!
Meet Amazing Angel & Mischief Monster:
These two are here to help remind us when we are doing something good and when we are doing something maybe not so good. See the idea behind this was to help kids see the immediate consequences to their actions, and to help them see that mom and dad have consequences too. It's very simple, for every good thing the child does, they get a quarter. For example: if they cleaned up their room without being asked, finished all of their dinner without complaint, helped mom or dad without complaint, played together without fighting. Same goes for mom and dad, if they do something good, like play with the kids or be thoughtful to one another, they get a quarter, but if mom yells, or daddy doesn't help out then they get quarters taken away. Basically, they get a quarter for going above and beyond their call of duty. Even though my kids are expected to clean up after themselves, at their ages ( 4 & 6 ) they often need to be asked to do things expected of them, so when they do things without being asked, they get a quarter from the Amazing Angel.
This next part is how I introduced Mischief Monster to my kids:
"Now, Mischief Monster does NOT like children to listen to their mommies and daddies. He does not like a clean house. He does not like it when mom and dad are nice to each other. He does not like it when brothers and sisters are nice to each other. He most certainly does not like when children finish all of their food and clean up after themselves. Want to know why? It's because the Mischief Monster gets a quarter everytime someone misbehaves! The Mischief Monster doesn't want anyone to have anything...he loves mischief and he loves money!"
So, everytime my children do something good, they get a quarter from the Amazing Angel, but whenever they misbehave, they get a quarter stolen from them by the Mischief Monster. We have actually had this behavioral experiement going on in our home for about 2 weeks now. While the first 2 days were difficult, and it seemed like my children were going to end up in the negative, we stuck to our plans and things have turned out great! We've have less fighting, more helping out around the house, less yelling from me, more kindness from eachother, and more empty dishes!!! It's been heaven!!!
Oh, and one more thing before I give you a short tutorial on how to make this happen in your home...make sure you explain to your young ones why the quarters are a good thing. You see, with my 4 year old son, after the 1st day, he had all of his quarters taken away and was misbehaving more than ever! He even told us he didn't care that he got his quarters taken away! I was so frustrated that our newly hatched plan wasn't working. So much so, that I ended up in the bedroom crying because I wanted this to work so badly. I was tired of yelling, tired of telling my kids to not do the same things over and over again every day or to do the same things over and over again every day. I was exausted. HUGE thanks went to my husband for this, he sat our children down and explained to them, that if they saved up all of their quarters, they could go to the store and finally have money to buy themselves a toy.
This especially caught my 4 year old son's attention, because for over a year now, he has had his eye on a purple robotic dinosaur at the store that costs around $40.00 that me and my husband have refused to get him. Now he has a chance to buy it himself and he is beyond excited. Granted he hasn't been the perfect angel for the past 2 weeks, but he has earned himself almost $3.00!!!
So here's a little more on how it works...so I have already explained that they get a quarter from the Amazing Angel for the good they do, and a quarter stolen for the mischief they cause. Well to start out with, they each get their own little mini-bank. When we explained how the new system worked, we sat them down and explained it to them and answered their questions. Once we were done, we gave them each their first quarter and told them: "Thank you for sitting here so nicely and listening to us, here is your very first quarter".
Now, one other thing. Along with their mini-banks, they also get a big bank as well that they got to decorate (we took them to the dollar store and let them choose stuff from the craft isle to decorate with)...
The purpose of TWO banks is this. At the beginning of each month, we put $40.00 worth of quarters into the Amazing Angel bank. Then, through out the month, the kids get the opportunity to get as many quarters as they can. (Mom and Dad get chances to, for doing nice things that were not asked of them either...like my husband gave me a quarter because I made him a mug of hot chocolate after he had complained about a sore throat, things like that.) Those quarters through out the month are put into their mini banks. Then, at the end of the month, however many quarters are in their mini banks, those get put into their big banks and can never be touched by the mischief monster again. Those are their savings banks. Those banks contain the money that they get to keep forever. Then at the beginning of the month you start all over again.
So, now that I think I have explained it all pretty well...here is how you can make your own Mischief Monster Behavior Program to instill in your house.
First you will need the following items:
(2) 2-Quart Plastic Containers, one for your Mischief Monster & one for your Amazing Angel.
(1) 2-Quart Container for EACH member of your family. These are for your big banks. We have 5 members...hence, we needed 5 containers, so seven 2-quart containers total.
(1) Samll glass jar for EACH member of your family. These are for their mini-banks.
$40.00 worth of quarters (or however much you want to budget for this each month, $40 is just what we chose.)
The Amazing Angel and Mischief Monster Templates, printed onto white cardstock. (Find them at the end of this post)
Avery Labels, FULL sheet labels. This is optional, but I thought it was easier than taping their names to their mini jars.
"Name" Templates, printed onto the Avery Full Sheet Labels
Markers (or some other coloring instrument)
Step 1: Print out your name labels onto the full sheet labels.
I know there probably aren't that many people in your family as there are labels that I have made, but one can never be too safe. :)
So, after you have printed out your labels, use a marker or other writing instrument to write each family member's name on a label.
Step 2: Cut out the name labels and apply them to the mini jars.
Step 3: Color and Cut Out your Mischief Monster and your Amazing Angel.
Step 4: Tape your angel and moster to their banks, add the $40.00 worth of quarters to the angel bank. Decorate your own big banks, then start your Mischief Monster Behavior Program in your home! Good luck to all of you! It seems to be working in our home so far!