Thanks to Goodtimer for sending me product in exchange for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
How is winter treating your family? While the first couple of months went really well for us, January has been wearing on all of our moods. The kids are going stir crazy because it’s been so cold outside, and both my husband and I have felt ourselves short-tempered. None of us WANT to be in bad moods, but sometimes we all need to be reminded to keep a positive attitude, right? That’s where Goodtimer comes in!
Goodtimer was created by a set of parents who wanted to motivate their kids to make good choices. What started out as a way to model good behavior rather than punishing for unwanted behavior, Goodtimer was developed as an engaging tool that helps young kids make positive choices by rewarding them with physical tokens to redeem for things they really want. I actually graduated college with a degree in early childhood education, and while everything I learned taught me that kids learn best from positive reinforcement and rather than disciplining bad behavior, I noticed some of the parenting techniques I grew up with creeping in on me as I raised my own kids. When I’d get really frustrated, I’d yell at my kids or put them on time outs-unsurprisingly, these tactics didn’t (and still don’t) work. I was excited to give Goodtimer a try and see if we couldn’t motivate the kids, AND ourselves, to have better behavior on these long winter days.
We sat down as a family and read The Clockmaker’s Creation, a story that comes along with your Goodtimer and reward tokens. It’s a great precursor to using the Goodtimer and will help your kids understand the goals of using this tool. Then we worked to come up with a few ambitions for our family, including going to bed at bedtime, using gentle touches with each other, using inside voices, and more. After that, we filled out some goal ideas for when we build up a number of tokens. As a family, you’ll get to choose what you need and want to work on, and what you’ll work towards. Plus, depending on the age of your kids you can make it easier or more difficult to earn tokens.
Since our kids are just four and six, we have our Goodtimer on the easiest setting. Each morning we turn Goodtimer on and we earn “good time” throughout the day as long as we’re using positive behaviors. If one of us breaks a family rule, Goodtimer gets turned over until we remedy the situation. So, for example, we’re working on using inside voices instead of yelling at each other when we’re upset. That goes for the kids and us adults! While Goodtimer is upside down, we aren’t punished but we also aren’t earning good time. When we take the necessary steps to change our behavior we turn our Goodtimer back over to start earning good time again.
One of my biggest goals when using Goodtimer was to make sure we’re rewarding good behavior and not using it as a punishment. I was afraid I’d find myself saying “don’t do X or I’ll flip Goodtimer over” – we’ve been very aware not to do this, because I believe it goes against everything Goodtimer was created for! Instead, we find ourselves reminding our kids that we need to teach Goodtimer how to use an inside voice, how to use gentle touches, and more. Using positive language and positive reinforcement is so important for kids, and we’ve found that Goodtimer is an incredible tool to help us remember that!
Our kids have responded SO well to using Goodtimer. We named ours “Funzi” (Harper’s idea) and the kids remind us each day to turn Funzi on. Not only are the kids using more positive behaviors, they know that we’re working cooperatively to earn tokens towards activities we can do as a family. They help remind Tyler and I when we aren’t making good choices also, and I actually really appreciate that. In the heat of the moment it can be hard to remember not to yell, and having Funzi around reminds me that the kids are learning their behaviors from me.
If your family is experiencing negative behaviors or having trouble using positive reinforcement, Goodtimer is a fantastic tool to have in your home.
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Hi there! I’m Amber, a 34 year old wife and mom of two from central Minnesota. I love to be outside with my family anywhere the weather is warm (which means I spend half the year freezing). We’re a homeschooling family that loves to travel as often as possible! When I have a spare free moment, I love to read, take photos, and scrapbook. I’m interested in anything that makes life more fun; I also love socializing and sharing about my favorite products!
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We are also working on using our inside voices. 🙂 I have been looking for a positive behavior tool for my entire family. It’s been a little hard around here, since I broke my foot and can’t walk or drive for 8 weeks. There is a lot of tension in our home, and this tool may help us. My kids would really like the tokens.
That looks like a great tool to help families. I could have used this 40 years ago.