I don’t remember my parents pleading me to do my homework or prepare for my exams. They were aware of the carrot and stick approach, but going down memory lane, I seldom find carrot being the incentive for doing my homework, instead it was usually the fear of the stick that got the work done.
The world kept spinning on its axis and generations later, the roles are reversed and I now find myself as the parent and my son the child. But along with the roles, the rules also went for an upgrade. So today, we don’t see reprimand as a means to an end. Our tools are rewards and positive reinforcements. Being new to the trade, I am constantly upgrading myself on the ways in which stickers, tokens, points, and little privileges can be used to get the job done, with a smile.
Another source of infinite wisdom is my son’s teacher, who came and presented him with a small sticker book the very first class. She made a big deal about writing his name on the book and got him hooked. Then, she pulled out a widest possible collection of sticker sheets and asked him to choose one. He scrutinized all of them very carefully and from the colorful and glittery pile of bikes, flowers, princesses, birds, cars, dinosaurs, he picked up the farm animals. This is the first time my son was introduced to the concept of stickers and a sticker book. And I was astonished to see him tackle one worksheet after another just to win another animal sticker. The only emotions, the experienced teacher inspired in his mind was that of joy, eagerness to please, and a sense of accomplishment.
I often create sticker charts for my son and every book I print has a different theme. Once he finishes a book, he gets a prize. This rule has been in place for over two years now. If you are introducing this system, a prize at the end of every page might be a generous way to start. I am eternally grateful to his teacher for introducing this wonderful stress-free incentive program in our lives. Below are six different themes for you to choose from.