Thursday, October 09, 2008

Melanomics, part one

Here's how our new token economy works....

There are two parts. The first part is "levels". He will be on a certain level each day depending on his behavior, and each level has it's own privileges and responsibilities. Here are the four levels. Please note how Catholic we are, to the point of being Catholic nerds. You gotta have a sense of humor, always.

The first level is "purgatory". This is the lowest level reserved for truly obnoxious behavior. There are no privileges at this level. No toys out of the toy closet, only what is available in the playroom. No special box (a box with special toys he keeps under his bed). Bedtime right after dinner with no read aloud and no reading lamp once in bed. No outside time. If we have to go somewhere, he must stay with an adult whenever possible at home. If he must go, then he has to stay with an adult while we are out. For example, if we have a homeschool play day while he is on this level, he has to sit with me instead of playing with the other kids.

Trust breaking behaviors earn this level. These behaviors are the biggies...lying, sneaking, stealing, touching someone in anger, damaging or trying to damage property, and refusing to go to time out when sent (this is a biggie because it is our only way of controlling him when he is in a rage. We can't drag him around anymore.) If he shows any of these behaviors, he is immediately put on purgatory level and will stay there for the rest of that day and until there are no more trust breaking behaviors for 24 hours.

The second level is the "Venerable" level. On this level, things are a little better. He can have toys out of the toy closet and his special box. Bedtime is at 8, and he can have the reading lamp on for 15 minutes. He can go outside under adult supervision. This level is a step up from purgatory, but it is also a level used as a consequence for "bond breaking behaviors", that is, behaviors that damage family bonds. These behaviors include direct disobedience, screaming and tantrums, mean words, and unkindness to those younger than him. If he shows these behaviors, he is immediately put on this level (unless he is already on purgatory!) and he is on it for the rest of the day and until there are no more bond breaking behaviors for 24 hours.

The third level is the "Blessed" level. On this level, things are better still. This is probably the "maintenance" level, where Kain can usually perform on a good day. On this level, he gets TV privileges during free time. Bedtime is at 8:30, and he can use his reading lamp for 30 minutes. He can play on our property without an adult, and if it is a weekend he can have computer time. This level and the next one are a bit different in that he has to have positive behaviors to stay on it, not just an absence of negative behaviors. To stay on this level, he needs to show respectful behaviors, such as speaking respectfully to others, right away obedience when he is asked to do or stop doing something, and no (or little) whining, arguing, and complaining. If he doesn't show enough respectful behavior, he will be bumped down to Venerable for the following day. If he shows good respectful behavior, as well as some sacrificing behaviors, he can move up to the fourth level the next day.

The fourth level is, of course, the "Saint" level. This is the highest, and it is meant to stretch him a bit. On the Saint level, he's got it made. He can have bedtime at 9, and he can use the extra time in the evening on the computer. He can have his reading lamp as long as he wants. He can play outside not just in the yard but in our "boundaries", a certain area we have set in the blocks around our home. Life is good. To stay on this level for the following day, we are looking not just for respectful behaviors but for sacrificing behaviors, like looking for ways to be helpful to John and I, or extra kindnesses to other kids like letting someone else have the first turn or decide what to play, etc. Above and beyond kind of stuff.

Moving up a level is decided at bedtime for the following day.
Time outs are still use for arguing and whining and that kind of thing. He is counted for those. If he doesn't stop at the count of three, he will be sent to time out, and the behavior will be taken into account when his level for the next day is decided.

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