Monday, February 7, 2011

Behavior Beads

SO... about a month ago, I began to notice Eva's behavior going down-hill. Nothing major, just small acts of disobedience here and there. Which really is major. It's easy as a {busy} parent to think that it's ok to let small instances of bad behavior go un-disciplined.

For instance, if I tell her to go make her bed and she just ignores me. It's often times easier for me just to keep nagging her about it until she finally gives in and obeys just to get me to hush up. However, I realize that obedience is just as important in the small things as it is in the big things. The specific task that I am asking her do to is not as important as the fact that I am giving her directions. As the child, she must learn to obey what I say, when I say it.

My dad always used to say,

"Obey me first, then ask questions."


"You need to obey the first time I tell you, without arguing."

At the time, when I was a kid, I just thought he was being mean and controlling. But now, as a parent myself, I understand that he was teaching me and my siblings an important lesson: you must obey those in authority over you, or else you will not get very far in life.

Throughout life, we have so many people we have to obey: God, teachers/professors, bosses, the law, etc. If we as parents do not teach our kids to obey, then when they become grown-ups, they will not understand the importance of obedience.

This means... they may rebel against God's calling for their life; they may not learn as much at school because they are not following the teacher's instructions; they may not be able to hold down a job if they resent their bosses' assertion of authority; and they may end up in Court if they do not respect the law.

I want to protect my daughter as much as I can from the consequences of disobedience. This means instilling in her the importance of obedience at a young age.

Thus began... Behavior Beads.

I got this idea from "The Preacher's Wife" Blog (see My Favorite Blogs on the right-hand side of screen).

I got a glass (yes, I bought my daughter a wine glass, lol) and we decorated it together. We made a list of both positive and negative behaviors, and we gave each behavior a number of beads.

Makes her bed without me asking her to = 10 beads.
Speaks when spoken to = 5 beads.
Argues = -3 beads.

When she fills up the glass (200 beads), she gets a prize!

I wasn't sure how this would work, because I did not think I would be consistent in its application, and I wasn't sure the delayed gratification would work with a 5 year old.

HOWEVER, I am so happy that it worked VERY well!

It took Eva 3 weeks, but today she earned her prize! (markers that write on windows)

I hope to "phase out" certain behaviors (such as making her bed) once they become habit, and replace them with new behaviors that I want to develop in her.

Side-Note: I do realize that the Behavior Beads deal primarily with her overt behaviors, and do not deal much with the issue of her heart. More on that in a future post :-)


  1. Patti! I didn't realize you had a blog - I love it! And I love your idea about the behavior beads, that's awesome. So much better than nagging and punishing all the time. Hope you and Eva are lovely!

  2. Hey girl! Yeah, I started it almost a year ago, but just never got around to posting anything til now.

    We are doing good! Thanks for commenting, and I hope wedding planning is going well for you!!