We have been doing our point system at home (modified token economy) for about 5.5 weeks now, so I thought it might be time to post an update. We already know that both kids earned the points required to go to Disney last time, but how is it working on a day to day basis when they have to buy their privileges and save points for their next Disney trip in 29 days (500 points for that one)? Well, it hasn’t been without bumps – Mickey spent two weeks trying to dig himself out of the major deficit he put himself in two weeks ago with his poor behavior choices. Yes, even though it was a result of anxiety and an autism related perseveration about his birth family, we still do consequences. Because even though, in that moment, he may not be able to think about the consequences, we have seen improvement enough that applying them works – sometimes it is even enough of a motivator to help him make good choices.
We have tweaked the points system repeatedly – adding negative point categories for screaming and tattling for Minnie and a positive category for Mickey for bus behavior, etc. So, where are they on their current point tallies? Mickey has banked 200 points for Disney with helping me clean out the basement for the demo that is happening tomorrow. He has busted his tail in a very un-Mickey-like fashion and had me immediately bank those points (can only be banked in 50 point increments). Minnie has banked 300 points and also purchased some tv time and a couple of girl scout cookie deserts. Mickey has even squeaked out an ice cream treat last night.
So, he isn’t a fan of having to “purchase” everything with good behavior, but I would say it is working. Both kids are earning a ton of points on the manners category – which is serving it’s purpose – even if I get “yes ma’am. POINT!” every time. It reminds them much better than the constant verbal reminders. Today, I even got this email from Mickey at school:
Mickey: Hi Mom!
Me: Hi Mickey. Are you having a good day?
Mickey: Yes mam. Point 🙂
I cracked up and gave him his point, because how could I not? We are going to keep at it. My house is cleaner than ever because chores are an easy way to earn points – especially when behavior hasn’t been stellar. I offer bonus points for store trips without asking for anything and it has made shopping with them much better. They are working toward the things they want and I like what I am seeing. So, the update is that they system is working!
Tomorrow we meet with Mickey’s therapist and I promised him we would discuss the birth father. Tomorrow our basement is being fully demolished – walls, carpet, ceiling. Everything. The basement has leaked repeatedly since Christmas when we had 6 inches of water. Every time it rains (at least once a week) it floods now. Drying it out hasn’t been successful because once we dry it gets wet again. Now we have mold. It will be a month before they can fix the leaking, but in the meantime the demo crew will come in, tear out all the stuff and treat the mold.
I have been working on a major redo of the main level of the house – I have painted the foyer, stairway, upstairs hall and living room and refinished two pieces of furniture and painted my Grandmother’s dollhouse (once I redo the trim I will post some before and afters along with the story of the dollhouse). The family room is next up on the agenda. We have been in this house three years and while it feels like our home, it is time to step it up and make it a place we love. I am absolutely loving the new wall colors and I even created our own little Disney corner (ignore the broom in the 3rd pic and disregard the horrible photo grouping – I just thought it was the best pic of the wall color).