>> Friday, May 22, 2015
Have you heard of "Fill A Bucket"?
The "Fill A Bucket" philosophy explains that children (and adults) carry an invisible bucket in which we keep our feelings. There are "bucket fillers" and "bucket dippers".
Bucket Fillers do kind things for others -- give a smile, helps out without being asked...basically any act of kindness towards others.
Bucket Dippers are those who say unkind words, bully, and generally do an unkind act.
When our buckets are full, we are happy and confident. When the bucket is empty, we are sad and down on ourselves.
Nani and Nudgie's school has been using this concept ever since Nani was in Kindergarten. I've seen how excited and happy they get when they come home with a "Bucket Filler" note from their teacher or fellow student. Nudgie would tell me, "I played with a friend who didn't have anyone to play with" or Nani would tell me, "I helped the teacher put books away without being asked."
They loved the positive reinforcement.
And then I thought -- why couldn't I use that same concept here at home. So I decided to try it over Summer Break -- the time when the kids would fight and bicker the most, when we would all start to get on each other's nerves. Why not try a little positive reinforcement and see what happens?
So, I picked up some beach buckets at the Dollar Tree and had the girls decorate them. I had some "jewels" stored away, so I pulled that box out to use as "Bucket Fillers".
The concept is simple.....
Whenever I catch them being nice to each other (playing nice, helping with chores, etc), they get a jewel. If there's fighting, name-calling etc., then they have to go outside, pick up a dirty rock from our pile by the garage and put it in their bucket. At the end of each month of Summer Break, I'll count the contents. If they have more jewels than dirty rocks, then they get a special treat. More dirty rocks than jewels? Then they get a dirty chore -- like cleaning up dog poop, cleaning the garage or Daddy may even take them to work at the Base and they can clean there!
The girls seem excited about it -- but who knows. After a week or so, the novelty may just wear off, but I'm trying to be hopeful!