We call them Behavior Beads- I used heart-shaped Pony Beads because they were different, and she didn't already have them. I found a silicone necklace/bracelet I could string them on at Hobby Lobby, but you can also buy them on Amazon. They are called Stretch Magic Silkies. They are perfect because they are easy for kids to open, and the bead I used didn't slide off the other end.
How It Works:
1. She gets a set number of beads to start the week- 5 works for us (we used more when she was younger- you may need more or less).
2. She must have at least one bead at the end of the week to earn her reward.
3. She loses a bead for each offensive behavior- whining, talking back, lying, etc. Certain behaviors usually only need a simple reminder to change quickly- "Do you want to lose a bead?" She must remove the necklace and give us a bead when we ask for one. I explain to her why she has lost it, and what is better behavior next time.
4. She loses a second bead if she whines, cries, or complains when we ask for a bead.
5. She can earn a bead for exemplary behavior- in the grocery store, at our bakery, or with Baby Brother. I don't do it every time, but I like to let her know that I have appreciated the good behavior, and only if she has really tried to be good but had one bad day and lost several beads.
6. At the end of the week her reward is something that is important to her- a playdate with a friend, a date with Daddy, a trip to the park, etc. These are things that are important to HER and in our budget!
Why It Works:
The beads stay on a necklace/bracelet so she can wear them no matter where she is. Losing a bead is an immediate consequence. And since she isn't crying (she will lose another bead if she is), we are able to explain to her why she has lost the bead. We can do this at the grocery store, at work, at home, in the car, anywhere! When we tried stickers, stars, happy faces, etc the method stayed at home, and it was tears and begging at night when she didn't get her star, sticker, or happy face. I LOVE the "take two" rule- it avoids the meltdown. And because she can see how many beads she has left, she can predict whether or not she will get her reward on Saturday.