So were one week back in and so far so good! I am not going to lie the routine has been missed. Erin and I are very much creatures of habit. The smallest thing can send us both into meltdown, which is not a good thing- trust me.
One thing that enabled me to keep the routine during the school holidays was with our travel tokens. As Erin was going to others houses and we always seemed to be on the move, these were a great way of ensuring that she didn’t lose her routine completely and had a reward system to behave for.
Erin is a clever little thing and she is led by reward- literally she will do most things for a reward. Happy Tokens are a token system, in which the tokens are customisable for you and your family. You can get tubes with your child’s name on in a choice of colours. The theory behind the tokens is that if your child behaves they get a ‘happy’ token and if they aren’t behaving the way you wish they can have a sad token.
As a family run business the owner Michelle has thought of everything. Including a system for when you are out and about! This is the one I love. The system includes a Perspex box that easily fits in your handbag with a bag of tokens. The tokens (that come in a bag) we have to go with the travel box are a selection of happy tokens, teeth brushing, homework, reading, getting dressed, bathing, eating and brushing hair. All of these things are things Erin has to do on a daily basis but sometimes needs a little bit of encouragement.
To use the system I find a mutual thing that she wants to do or have i.e.. a magazine, or dinner with her friends or a shopkin toy. Once we have agreed we then empty the box and take the tokens out with us for the day.
For everything that Erin does, she gets the corresponding token. I then fill the empty gaps with happy or sad tokens dependent on her behavior. If she is able to get a full box of happy tokens and chore tokens she has a happy token into her tube. Once Erin’s tube has 14 happy tokens in she gets the prize.
The system works really well with Erin and she loves getting all of her tokens and putting them in and out. It really gets her involved in the system and she knows when she does something that she is able to put a token into her box!
The colours of the tokens make the theory so much more fun and the fact that the box is great for on the move as the tokens don’t just drop out is perfect. Erin knows the moment that she has a sad token she really needs to work hard on gaining a happy token to replace it. It works so well for both of us.
The Tables turned…
As Erin loves her token system we have changed up a bit and Erin was given the chance to use the Mum and Dad reward system. Well I was a little dubious as I know what Erin is like and would be issuing me with sad tokens every time I didn’t allow her to have an extra treat after dinner!!
I explained the concept to her that if I was doing something she didn’t think was ‘fair’ (not naughty as I am all for promoting do as I say not as I do) she is able to issue me with a sad token. I also said if there is something she really liked then she could give us a happy token.
On the first day bless her heart she was issuing me with happy tokens because she loves me! AWWW!!! but after the novelty wore off she understood the theory a bit more. Matt & I had a tube each and our own corresponding colours.
One of things I really loved about this concept was that it showed me what Erin loves to do with us as a family and what she thinks has been a fun day. It helped as a communication technique. So when I had made cookies with her she issued me a happy token and said thanks for letting me make cookies mum. I was getting her to express her feelings in a way we never had done before. Especially when something negative happened. The first time this happened it took me aback a bit as Erin wouldn’t normally know how to express a negative feeling in a kind way.
She came in after she had done her homework and said mum here’s a sad token. I was perplexed- she said you have this because you said I could play first and then do my homework- but you changed your mind and made it the other way. For one minute I didn’t realise that me changing my mind on a whim would affect her like this. Since then I have really thought about the consequences for her when I change my mind or make decisions.
All in all I love the concept of the mum and dad tokens but more of a way of communication for little ones. Showing ways to express this actually stops tantrums- it saves her throwing herself on the floor in a huff and instead gives her the chance to tell me why she wasn’t happy with my decision. Fingers crossed I get my extra special golden token soon!!!
If you want to buy the something from the happy token range go to ; http://www.happytokens.co.uk/ or on Facebook If there is something you are after but cant see definitely contact Michelle as she is fab and really helpful.