I remember a long, long time ago, diligently reading parenting books. I wanted to get a handle on child behavior early on so that I didn’t end up with that crazy backsassing kid. You know the one I am talking about.
One thing that stuck with me early on is the concept of a child’s personal currency. Personal currency is the thing that really drives you. As an adult, think, shoes, chocolate, skinny jeans, white sand beaches, family time. Each and every child has their own currency as well and you can bet your bottom dollar that your own children do not have the same currency as each other. I, of course, learned this the hard way. Negative consequences… time outs, loss of priveledges/video games/tv/favorite toy… or positive consequences… a new video game/app, stickers, actual money… with four children I have given a lot of different things a try and personal currency regularly changes. But I have to say, when it came to my now tween, she was beginning to stump me.
My oldest daughter is a wonderful kid but she often lacks confidence in her academic skills. When she does so, she tends to bring home less than great grades, despite studying. Her negative mindset would kick in and the test would be a bomb. When she feels good about a subject, she will bring home superior grades. Her positive mindset could easily propel her to greatness. Unfortunately, I was never able to get her to do the latter consistently. Until she gave me the in…
Our school district puts together a newsletter highlighting the last quarter in school for all grades. It’s great fun to look for your friends pictures and then once quarterly look for your name on the Honor Roll and High Honor Roll. My daughter never quite made either, missing the cut off typically by a point or two. With the ever so small indication, she let on that she wanted to. So, with that sword in hand already, I charged forward and laid down this gauntlet:
“If you are able to get on Honor Roll, I will make pancakes for a week. High Honor Roll will get you pancakes for 3 weeks.”
Yup, you read correctly. My daughter’s greatest, most consistent request is for pancakes. She absolutely loves hot breakfast. It was a risky thing to throw out there as her currency but I was at a loss for what would help her to motivate herself to get the grades she really wanted. All of the typically used currency proved to do nothing. It needed to be something completely positive so that we could secure her positive mindset. She took the challenge with great excitement.
And you know what… we received our quarterly newsletter yesterday. Today, we ate pancakes.
Thanks for reading!!