Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Rewards/Consequences

Posted by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 11:55 AM
  • 8 Replies

I need advice on how to give Bugga rewards and consequences. He's 9 years old and the only thing he seems to care about is playing video games. It has been pointed out to me that gaming is how he self-regulates so I don't want to take away computer time as a consequence, but at the same time he doesn't seem to care about anything else. We tried a money reward system, where he earned $0.50 for reading, $1.00 for a positive attitude, etc and lost money for defiance, name calling, etc. He earns money toward a gift card to his favorite game store. But the problem is, it's a little too abstract. We have a chart that keeps track of how much he's earned/lost but he never looks at it. I can tell him that I'm taking away $0.50 for name calling and he'll just shrug and go back to his game. I need a way to get through to him without taking away his method of self-regulation. Any ideas?

by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-8):
kajira
by Emma on Mar. 9, 2013 at 3:41 PM
3 moms liked this

Set limits on the gaming. He can game, but he needs to earn it. It will cause major drama in the beginning, but once he realizes he has to earn it, and if he wants it, he'll do it.

I would keep it simple, like allowed him to have X amount of time per day daily, automatically, and any additional time has to be earned.... I would start working on other self regulating behaviors. Reading, art, jumping on a trampoline, etc.


Gaming is important, but he has to try harder to make it work in a family environment.

He's young - I guess I would sit down with him and explain how a family unit is supposed to work, why people try to be nice to each other, why you try to help each other out and why the things you have him do have a specific reason - then TELL him the reason.

I think that the more you logic every little thing out for him, you may find him a little more cooperative.

blessedhappymom
by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 3:45 PM
1 mom liked this
When I was working, I was trained how to use this particular group traing called Strengthening Families. It talked about how rewards have to be something that can't be bought in a store, achievied quickly and have to be important to the child. So for example, they provided a page with a circle printed it and then you would stick a brad through the center so you would have a spinner. On the blanks you would ask you child what they would like as a reward and it can't be something that you buy( those are for big reward things). One group that I facilitated, we put a bunch of stuff up on the board as to what the rewards could be. Some were going to the park, taking a walk/bike ride, eating dinner in the living room, building a fort with chairs and blankets, splashing in puddles when it rains, extra time for a favorite activity, etc. A lot of parents laughed at me like I was crazy when I said 'don't reward them with a new toy at the store', but when they asked their child and tried some of these things, they came back shocked and amazed that it worked. The other thing is consistency and getting to the reward not to fast and no to slow.

Another example I have to share is a out when my cousin was in school. He would not want to do his work or homework. At the time I played on a volleyball team and there was another team that was made up of the NBA players of the Spurs. So I told him that if he did his work and homework for 2 weeks I would take him to the volleyball game and he could ask the Spurs players for their autographs. He did amazing for 2 weeks so he went and met the players and got autographs. The he wen right back to not doing his work and homework so when I told him that we had a deal he said ' I already met the Spurs players so how do you plan to top that' ? Little rat had a point, how could I top that? So my point is to make rewards something that we can keep topping :-).

As for consequences, the same applies, ask the child what they feel their consequences should be. Often times they come up with harsher consequences then we would. Good luck and I hope this helps.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
JTMOM422
by Brenda on Mar. 9, 2013 at 4:14 PM

I really like the spinner idea. It's something I could do with my dd too. Ds might not comprehend the idea for a while

Quoting blessedhappymom:

When I was working, I was trained how to use this particular group traing called Strengthening Families. It talked about how rewards have to be something that can't be bought in a store, achievied quickly and have to be important to the child. So for example, they provided a page with a circle printed it and then you would stick a brad through the center so you would have a spinner. On the blanks you would ask you child what they would like as a reward and it can't be something that you buy( those are for big reward things). One group that I facilitated, we put a bunch of stuff up on the board as to what the rewards could be. Some were going to the park, taking a walk/bike ride, eating dinner in the living room, building a fort with chairs and blankets, splashing in puddles when it rains, extra time for a favorite activity, etc. A lot of parents laughed at me like I was crazy when I said 'don't reward them with a new toy at the store', but when they asked their child and tried some of these things, they came back shocked and amazed that it worked. The other thing is consistency and getting to the reward not to fast and no to slow.

Another example I have to share is a out when my cousin was in school. He would not want to do his work or homework. At the time I played on a volleyball team and there was another team that was made up of the NBA players of the Spurs. So I told him that if he did his work and homework for 2 weeks I would take him to the volleyball game and he could ask the Spurs players for their autographs. He did amazing for 2 weeks so he went and met the players and got autographs. The he wen right back to not doing his work and homework so when I told him that we had a deal he said ' I already met the Spurs players so how do you plan to top that' ? Little rat had a point, how could I top that? So my point is to make rewards something that we can keep topping :-).

As for consequences, the same applies, ask the child what they feel their consequences should be. Often times they come up with harsher consequences then we would. Good luck and I hope this helps.


emarin77
by Silver Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I would not give money right now.  Give that for his allowance when 13 for example.  I would ask your son what he would like to do if he followed the rules in the house.  Like going to the arcade.  My son is only 4 but he chose to go to McDonald's once a week if he completed 65 out of 81 chores for the week.  He receives stickers for each one completed too.  He has been doing very well for the past 6 months with this.

Also reduce the time he plays games on the computer if that is his main activity he does every day.   He needs to learn to participate with family/friends or just other activities that he can do in the house or not.

TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Mar. 10, 2013 at 7:44 AM

 I'm terrible with that..I seem to get him whatever he wants because I know it's hard for him to wait.  But when he was younger, we definately had  a rewards system and it would go towards  game or dvd....I just did it in bigger amounts ($5 everytime homework got done, good report card, etc

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Mar. 10, 2013 at 7:46 AM

These ladies have some great advice!  My son is only 4 years old and has the brain of a 10-12 month old so we don't deal with this yet.  Hugs mama!

lucasmadre
by Kari on Mar. 10, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Hi, I also have a nine year old boy, I know you don't want to take away his games but that is what matters to him and it can be a tremendous motivator.

At our house we call it screen time. Every day he has a certain amount of screen time (tv,computer,games)that he is aloud but if he does something off of the "extra screen time list" (which is a simple list of things I want him to work on) he gets extra screen time. 

My son has never looked at a single chart I have made but he looks at the list of things that earn him extra screen time and I change it from week to week as we work on different issues- Good luck.  XO

AspieAuntie
by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Thank you everyone for your input. Bugga used to have to earn minutes through positive actions (doing his homework, reading for 25 mins, etc) but we changed that when folks on this group reminded me that he played games to help himself calm down and deal with life. I just think I changed it a little too much. I think I'm going to let him have a 20 minute video game break after school (which he has now) and a 15 minute break when he's halfway through his homework (which he has now) but instead of letting him go crazy after homework is done I'll do as Lucasmadre suggested and have options for earning extra screen time. I'm also going to do as blessedhappymom suggested and ASK him what he thinks some good consequences should be. You are all so helpful and I do appreciate each and every comment I get. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)