What If I Told You This System Was the Key to Good Childhood Behavior?

Having children can be the most rewarding and yet most challenging thing we ever encounter. Nighttime feedings, diapers, potty training — the list goes on. The parenting cross that has plagued my home for the past few years has been poor behavior.

I have tried charts and agendas, read books, begged, cried, threatened to leave (empty threat), and probably every other system you have heard of. When my son was diagnosed with autism, we found ourselves in the behaviorist's office on weekly visits.

I was in tears describing the behaviors that were occurring in my house. My kids were constantly fighting with each other. I was parenting with my voice, but not with my brain. I gave too many options, too many chances, and too much of my attention. I was lost.

My behaviorist looked and me and said, "What if I told you we can fix this? What if I said I have the golden ticket?" I was skeptical, to say the least. I was also at my wits' end and out of options. I let her continue to tell me about "the ticket system."

The Ticket System

  1. Sit your kids down and explain that for every action, there is either a consequence or reward.
  2. Everyone likes to be rewarded and getting rewarded is easy.
  3. If they do the specified action, they will be rewarded with a ticket.
  4. If you have to ask more then twice, the ticket is no longer an option.
  5. Tickets can only be given, not taken away. Tickets are rewards for good behavior.
  6. Tickets cannot be used as a punishment. They must associate the positive behavior with the ticket.
  7. Tickets need to be assigned a value, for they can be cashed in for "Prizes."
  8. "Prizes" can be anything from dollar store toys to extra time for TV.
  9. You assign the value to the ticket so that you can control the end result.
  10. Give tickets for every behavior you want to see them display.
  11. If you want them at the dinner table in three minutes, tell them they have three minutes to get to the table and they will receive two tickets.
  12. If they don't get to the table in time, no tickets.
  13. If they ask about how to earn the tickets, give them specific details on what you expect. "I would love to give you a ticket for having wonderful manners. Every time I hear you say please and thank you, I will happily give you a ticket."
  14. It sounds like you will be handing out tickets like crazy, and guess what, YOU WILL BE!
  15. It is a great problem to have. You will find yourself rewarding positive behavior constantly.
  16. Map out what behaviors you want to see, and every time you see your child doing that behavior, hand out a ticket.
  17. I bought small mailboxes for each of my kids. They store their tickets in the boxes and trade them in weekly for a trip to the dollar store.
  18. None of this is rocket science. Don't over think it. When you see the behavior you want, reward it.
  19. You will be handing out tickets like beads during Mardi Gras.
  20. Remember to keep tickets in your purse or diaper bag so you can reward on the go.

This may seem too good to be true, but I promise it works. I was literally at the end of my rope. This process is way better than Willy Wonka's golden ticket. I use this system for getting ready in the morning, on the way to school, throughout the day for manners and interactions with siblings, getting ready for bed, etc. You determine the behavior you want to see. You reward that behavior, and I promise you will get it.