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My five-year-old has been getting really out of hand lately with sassing, arguing, and having temper tantrums, to the point she isn't even pleasant to be around anymore. Sending her to her room or taking away privileges will work in the moment, but the rude behavior keeps coming back. So my boyfriend and I decided to institute a punishment and rewards system, in which we would take a coin from our daughter's piggy bank if she got smart, argued, or started yelling and screaming when we asked her to do something. If she obeyed without arguing, or we noticed her being especially polite, we would put a coin back.

The reason we settled on coins is because, first of all, they're important to our daughter. She's starting to learn about money, at least that when she has it, she can buy things she wants. So the motivation is there. Also, printed charts that you mark or put a sticker on won't work for me because I can't see to read them.

The problem is that the five-year-old objected *very strongly* to the idea of the coins because--and she's right, I guess--they're already hers, so taking them away isn't fair. She calls it stealing.

So, are we on the right track with this idea, or should we come up with something else? If so, what are other ideas that would work, since witeboards or sticker charts aren't good options?


Asked by Ballad at 7:47 PM on Jul. 22, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • Tell her it isn't stealing it's "Fineing" like if someone breaks the law they get a "Fine" well if she breaks your rules you will fine her and if she runs out of coins then she will owe you. That way she realizes that she can't keep disrespecting because even if she has no money then the money she works for in the future will be taken away too due to her behavior. I do this with my son and he caught on real quick.

    Answer by AnonNdrag at 7:52 PM on Jul. 22, 2013

  • Okay, she thinks it's not fair since it's already her money, and you think it's ideal because it works with your inability to see a chart, etc.

    So compromise with her.

    Get a jar, and put...say $1 worth of coins (or more, if you think it would be more motivating). The money in the jar is used the way you describe: take one away when she does something you have explained is unacceptable, and add one when she does something right.

    Tell her at the end of the day/week/month, she gets all the money in the jar. So if she sasses or whatever until the jar is empty, she gets nothing. On the other hand, if she does right, and you don't have to take any coins and just keep adding, she could walk away with $2, or $5, or however much at the end of the period you've designated.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 7:56 PM on Jul. 22, 2013

  • Stay out of her piggy bank
    Seriously- stay out of it
    She can't go into your wallet when you over react or punish her unfairly (you know when you have to apologize to her because it was your fuck up not hers)

    You can do a reward system with coins though
    i.e. a separate jar- every time you know she has held her tongue give her a coin but then take it back for not holding her tongue
    at the end of the week all the coins are hers to keep

    just be ready to pony up and be very aware when you notice her working hard to keep from being a brat

    Answer by feralxat at 7:59 PM on Jul. 22, 2013

  • What about modifying something we're doing at my house. My kids have certain chores that they are supposed to do without being told. If they do them daily they get a ticket (think carnival ride ticket) and place it in a clean, unused beer glass. At the end of the month they can redeem those tickets for money.

    Set your ticket price at whatever amount you want. When she's caught being good, give her a ticket. When she mouths off, take a ticket away.

    You can get 2,000 tickets at walmart for about $10. It comes in a big wheel and various colors.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 8:24 PM on Jul. 22, 2013

  • place it in a clean, unused beer glass.
    All I could think when I read that was:

    (the other day someone was telling me to make ice cubes out of leftover wine. I was confused, what's leftover wine)


    Answer by feralxat at 8:30 PM on Jul. 22, 2013

  • HAHA!
    Wendy types faster than I do

    Answer by feralxat at 7:59 PM on Jul. 22, 2013

  • When my youngest was in therapy, he suggested I give my son "Mom bucks". He said to come up with a list of things he could use the Mom bucks for (for example: picking what we were going to have for supper, sitting in the front seat, choosing which tv show to watch, 30 min. of video games, or 1 on 1 time with Mom) He said that I could also turn the mom bucks into cash if I wanted to, that was up to me. Then doc said to divide the day into time slots. I think during the school year it was before school, before supper, after supper and bed time. He had a list of behaviors that needed working on so it was decided that we would take 3 or 4 of the most troublesome behaviors and work on them 1st. For each time slot, if he did not do those behaviors, he earned a mom buck.

    Answer by tempsingl3mom at 8:02 PM on Jul. 22, 2013

  • Doc said not to take any mom bucks away because we were going for positive reinforcement and if we took any away, my son might not like the program as much.

    It worked fairly well.

    Dad bucks did not work. Mom bucks did. I have no idea why.

    Answer by tempsingl3mom at 8:04 PM on Jul. 22, 2013

  • Oh, and I allowed my son to choose a few things that his Mom bucks could be used for. There were a couple rewards that required me to use real money to purchase so they cost a few more Mom bucks.

    Answer by tempsingl3mom at 8:08 PM on Jul. 22, 2013

  • on a side note
    your program spelled white board wrong.
    I am not used to seeing typos and know you are an editor so- thought that may be important

    Answer by feralxat at 8:12 PM on Jul. 22, 2013