My son loves video games. Of course, saying the words … son … love … and video games … may be a tad redundant. I mean, do we even know a boy today that doesn’t drool over the digital graphics that video games provide?
That being said, yes, my son does adore his gaming systems. And when the summer months come I have to get tricky at how to limit the amount of time he can play. Otherwise he would never make time to use his imagination or get any Vitamin D into his sytem. That just won’t do for this teacher-at-heart mama.
What has been working for our family the past 2 years is a “ticket system”. I wish I could claim this genius idea as my own but alas I cannnot. It originally came from my friend Brit at this post (although she has since moved and is now found here). This woman is the queen of creativity and many of my ideas springboard from her! She rocks!!
Anyhoo, this system really is great. Let me explain how it works.
You start with a “bank” of tickets.
I suppose it’s possible to buy a roll of tickets and just use those. But I’m way too cheap for that. I had tons of scap paper all over the place so I just used my Silhouette SD and made my own.
Next, you need some jars or containers to keep the the tickets in. You will need one for the “bank” and one for the “earned” tickets. Any size and any type will work. I just used what I had on hand in my stash.
Now you just purty up your jars with paints, washi tape, scrapbook paper, or even permanent markers would work too. Of course, you don’t really have to even decorate them at all iffin you don’t want to. I feel inclined to admit to you that for the past two years my jars have been naked and worked just fine. It’s only because I thought of sharing this idea with you, my readers and friends, that I thought naked jars were not so good 🙂
Now, here’s how the system works. At least for our family anyways.
1 ticket = 15 minutes of video game time.
No tickets = No playing video games. PERIOD.
This is not negotiable in our home. Unless, of course, it’s the 4th of July and daddy overrides mommy and says, “It’s the 4th of July and a special day so no tickets needed today!” to which mommy just looks at daddy with “the look”
Uh-hum. Yeah. Moving on. 🙂
Tickets are won by chores and the good things you do … like folding laundry, taking the dog out, cleaning the sinks and mirrors, dusting, READING for 15 minutes (which is a chore in itself for son-of-mine … and actually only one ticket has been awarded for that this summer! Whose child is he anyways??), or by some other random act of kindness that we deem ticket worthy.
HOWEVER, tickets are also lost by a disrespectful attitude, or laziness, or anything that we deem “un” ticket worthy.
Now, this is just how we do our tickets. Every family will have their own way of doing things and you could / should tailor it to fit your needs. And the reward doesn’t have to be for video games. It can be for anything … like # of tickets = ice cream out … or # of tickets = toy they want … or # of tickets = whatever it is your that works for you.
But I tell you, it works!! If you stay consistent and on top of it … it really works!! So my friends, as Mikey says, “Try it, you’ll like it!”
Hey, iffin you do try it … be sure to come back and comment below! Also, if you have some other type of reward system that works be sure to comment with that below as well!! We could all use a little parenting help from time to time!!