A good friend of mine recently told me about a new “marble jar strategy” they were using in their house. Here’s the deal…. When your preschooler does something (ie. brush hair, brush teeth, take dishes to the sink) without you having to ask, they get to put a marble in their marble jar. When they choose to go against rules of the house, talk back etc. etc., they must remove a marble from the jar.
Before beginning the marble process, a reward is decided upon and can’t be changed. Once the jar is full, the preschooler receives reward. We started working towards a Barbie Styling Head a good month ago and we still have a half a jar to go. Not because Mia is bad, but because it really is hard to fill up a jar with marbles one by one.
In the evening, we typically read four books, which usually knocks Mia out, but if not, she is allowed to watch one of her movies for a half hour. Mia was in and out of bed two times before I said, “One more time out of bed and you lose two marbles.” A few moments later I heard little footsteps and before Mia could speak I told her to go take her marbles out of the jar and get back to bed. I heard two marbles drop back in the bag and little footsteps scurry back down the hall.
We later found Mia asleep with her movie skipping and scratching…. She was coming to tell me her movie was not working. I went back to my bed sad and mad at myself for not letting her speak. As I drifted off to sleep, I heard marbles dropping into the jar. Mia’s father walked into the bedroom and I could tell by the look on his face he had more than made up the marble difference.
I guess the marble strategy is teaching more than one of us a lesson.