In order to celebrate Skyler's good behavior and correct some of her more difficult moments, we are adopting a new token strategy. I picked up a package of wooden hearts and a small wooden box at our local arts supply store.
Here is how it works. Skyler can earn one heart token for getting herself dressed and brushing her teeth in the morning without having to be asked more than once. She has been so good about this lately, making our morning routine so much better, and we want to reward that behavior. She literally hops out of bed and gets right to work getting dressed and loves how proud we are. She can also earn one heart token for going to bed nicely at night, without clinging to us when we leave or coming downstairs for something after we've said goodnight. (It's true, at age 5 1/2, Skyler still tests us at bedtime fairly often).
I also told her there is one other way she can earn a token. If we catch her being extra helpful, or doing something extra nice, she might earn a bonus token, as long as she doesn't ask for one. I explained that she should be a good girl for the sake of being a good girl, and not do nice things just to try to earn tokens. To which she nodded enthusiastically, clearly embracing my parenting philosophy.
When she gets 12 tokens in her box, she can cash them in for a treat or a toy.
A few minutes after we had the token talk, she came downstairs with Reed's dinosaur and blanket and said to herself (loudly) "I thought it might be nice for Reed to have his dino and taggie to cuddle with." She walked past me, but looked back to see if I'd noticed.
Then, I called her for dinner and she said: "Okay, Mom! Coming! Thanks! I'll be right there!"
During dinner, Sam and I almost spit out our drinks a few times while watching her.
She offered to share her dinner, and would we like a sip of her milk?
When Reed wanted to switch his kitchen chair with one of the cushioned dining room chairs, Skyler hopped up. "I'll get it, Buddy!" She helped him make the switch and gave him an extra pat-pat on the shoulder to make sure he was comfortable.
When Reed was done with dinner, Skyler took him by the hand to lead him into the living room, making sure to glance back at us over her shoulder.
She then made a drawing for me which she named "a pleasant flower in springtime" and then handed it to me with a longing look.
Oh, brother. Yes, I gave the kid an extra token.
Last night, when I was tucking Skyler in, she told me how much she loves the tokens, and added: "I'm going to be good for the rest of my life."