It is not secret that parents have used stickers for as long as stickers have been around to get their children to do things like eat, dress and other stuff they should generally just do. My children have never found value it getting a sticky picture of a gold star or a smiley face. But, as you know, Emma is smashing everything we know about parenting and stickers, her teacher discovered, are her currency.
All was going well at school but then once things settled and Emma was no longer the “new girl” she stopped talking at school. She still spoke (non stop) at home, chatted happily about her day, got ready without a fuss but once in her class room, she was silent. Initially the teachers didn’t really make a fuss but by the second week they did mention it and on Friday her teacher started to take action.
She explained to Emma that she knew she could talk and if she continued to refuse she would go to the naughty corner. So off Emma went. The teacher sat with her, explained why she was there and asked her if she would now come back to the mat and answer the questions she was asked. Emma refused. She stared her teacher down, shook her head and stayed in her naughty corner. Not one tear was shed during this show down.
So the teacher, not one to give up, grabbed a handful of stickers and used good on bribery! If you speak, you get a sticker! Emma spoke.
I am not sure what the teachers plan is for when Emma has to start learning you can’t be rewarded continuously for doing something like speaking (when you have no real issue other than your nose is out of joint because you are no longer the centre of attention) but it will give the teacher her next challenge.
We have really been struggling with tantrums recently (well for months really), so I decide to try the sticker thing at home. Armed with some dogs, hearts, stars and a variety of other random things I headed into the battleground that is life with Emma.
We got through breakfast and lunch without drama! Not one tear, not one whinge. She doesn’t want to keep the sticker but the fact she is getting it seems to be making our lives considerably easier so we are going with it! We do what we must!