The Lollypop Incentive

Back in the late-summer I started a new incentive program with Jack and it’s been working so well I wanted to share it with you. I call it the Lollypop Incentive… and it all started with a bag of old lollypops we had left over from potty training.

Every morning when I would go in Jack’s room to wake him up for school, he was THE WORST. There was so much whining and complaining that I would totally dread it each day. Inevitably in the midst of his whining, he would lie on the floor like a wet noodle and whine at me to get him dressed because he was too tiiiiiiiirrrrrreeeeed.

Rolls Eyes.
Another Sigh.

If I was super late for work, I’d do it. I’d just grab him like a baby and dress him so I could get out the door on time. Okay, who are we kidding… even ‘on time’ is still like 15 minutes late.

One morning I told him that if he got himself dressed, used the potty and brushed his teeth with NO help then he would earn a lollypop.

And it worked.

And it continued working for the next few days…until one morning he started with his limp noodle whining again and I said, “Sure, I’ll get you dressed! I’d love to have a lollypop today!” And BOOM he’d get up and earn that lollypop.

After he accumulated a bunch of lollypops I asked him if he wanted to trade them in. I made up a trade-in plan: 10 lollypops can be traded for a small toy, 15 lollypops can be traded for a medium toy and 20 lollypops can be traded for a large toy. Generally each lollypop is equal to about a dollar of spending money.

You guys, this may be the BEST idea I ever had!

It’s been about 5 months now and every single day Jack will get himself up and dressed for school with NO WHINING. I walk in his room to feed the fish (remind me why I’m the one who does everything for these stupid fish I didn’t want…?) and tell him it’s time to wake up. Then I go downstairs to make his breakfast, start my coffee, walk the dog and blend my shake without fighting with him.

Let me tell you how great it is to NOT have to scream and yell first thing in the morning!

He keeps his stash of earned lollypops in our car cup holder and is in charge of whether he wants to eat a lollypop or save it up to trade in. Sometimes he even shares lollypops with his daddy or friends, knowing that it will take him longer to save up.

And me? Well I’m happy to pay $15 a month for mornings without whining. Bonus points for being only slightly late to work and teaching Jack the value of saving/spending something he values.

Do you have an incentive plan for your kid to get moving in the morning?

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2 thoughts on “The Lollypop Incentive”

  1. I love this idea! I didn’t even think of the fact that he’s getting a lesson in spending/saving until you mentioned it. Bravo on that! Question, did you have to encourage him to not eat the lollipop right away in the morning or does he have self control? 🙂

    1. Thanks! I actually let him do whatever he wants with the lollypop and if he wanted to eat it in the morning he could. Typically he doesn’t eat them though and just looks forward to saving them up. =)

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