Monday, June 2, 2014

The Sowders Stubs (or Lucy's new reward system)

Lucy has always been a pretty good kid.  I feel like we have gone through all the "normal" stuff that you should as a parent, stubbornness, defiance, the loss of listening ears, etc.  Then, one day, she turned 6 and everything went out the window.

Now I do understand that these are still normal, typical, behaviors, but they are infuriating, frustrating, and most importantly, exhausting for both her and me.  To constantly have that struggle of, "are you doing your homework or drawing circles?" "Did you clean your bedroom?" "Please please eat your's the same thing you ate three days ago, yes you still like it."

And then the constant "why."  I swear she says it now just out of habit not out of curiosity.  I mean, this is an exact conversation we have had:

Lucy:  Mommy, I am thirsty.
Me:  Your water bottle is in the fridge, you can go get it if you'd like.
Lucy: Why?


As I was talking to my friend Amber, from Amber in the Real, she told me how she was dealing with the same issues.  Her daughter is 13 days younger than mine so it was great to be able to commiserate together on how alien-like our daughters had become.  Amber told me about how she saw these tickets that Artsyville made (and seriously, if you don't follow her on Instagram you are missing out on life because her pictures are so much fun!) and how she was going to make some of her own and use them as incentives for her daughter for doing the things she was supposed to be doing.

Immediately, I loved the idea and decided to make some of my own.  Sure I could have made them super easy and just printed some, but me being me, needed to make them slightly more complicated fun.  Lucky for you, I documented how I made them so that you too, could make your very own!

1. For the first round of tickets I made, I used a cut file I bought from the Silhouette store.  For this tutorial, I took an outline (read how to do that here) of a ticket instead. After I had it traced, I did an internal offset.  This is to start the thick black line outline on the ticket that helps make it look more like a ticket.

2. For step two, you want to do another internal offset.  The distance is really up to you, I think mine was a .4 or something close.  Once you have your two boxes, select the small one and then select the "Fill" option.  Fill that box with the color white.  Then select the first box and fill it black.  When I first did this, I did it the reverse and it was so hard to then do the fill on the smaller box.  I then figured it out later so, lucky for you, it was before I wrote this!

3. Next, I added a text box to the white box.  We like to call ours Sowders Stubs.  You can call yours whatever you want.

4. Once you have your name picked out, you want to fill that too.

5.  This next step is pretty important.  It was something I didn't even THINK of until I messed it up.  I forgot to have my two inside boxes and my text set for "no cut."  Yep, so after I printed my tickets, I went to run them through my machine and it started cutting everything.  So don't do that.  Make them "no cut."

6. Now you just need to fill your page with tickets.  I did a few "rows of threes" and "columns of threes"

7. The next thing that I forgot to do on my second time around making these tickets was to select the "Show Registration Marks" option.  This caused my tickets to print from the printer but gave the Silhouette no way of knowing where to start cutting.  So yea...don't do that.  Make sure to hit the "show registration marks" button.

8.  Once you have them printed, you get to run them through your machine!

Now our system with these tickets, is that each ticket is valued at approximately $1.  This of course depends on what she wants.  Lately, Lucy has been really into Lego Friends, so I will let her get one of the small kits for, say, 5 tickets, however the kits are like $10.  This weekend while we were at Target, she decided she wanted the big McMansion which is $60.  I told her she had to save up 60 tickets in order to get it.

Oh and I am sure you want to know how she earns them?  Every day, she gets a ticket for making her bed and having her room cleaned.  She can earn extra tickets by eating her dinner without any fights, helping with other chores around the house without being asked, or having been asked only one time. I have also been "buying" her old toys from her to sell/take to consignment too.  She can also lose tickets.  She loses tickets if I have to ask her to do one of her chores more than twice.

I try to be completely transparent with the tickets.  If her behavior starts warranting that she needs to turn some in, I tell her, "Lucy, if you don't turn your listening ears back on, then you are going to lose a ticket." I also let her make the choice of turning them in, for instance, last week there was a day when she didn't earn a single ticket except for her daily one for making her bed.  I had to repeat myself numerous times that day, so at the end of the day, I asked her how she thought the day went and if she should earn tickets or have some taken away.  She said she needed to turn some in and we discussed how many (3, her choice) and she gave me three tickets.

It's also still a new concept so we are all trying to work out the kinks, but so far, it's working very very well.  She really wants to earn tickets so she's been doing everything (mostly) she is supposed to be doing.  I am really happy they are working.

What are some of your rewards systems?

This post contains affiliate links. 


  1. I'm a firm believer in "Positive Re-enforcement".....Have special tickets just for them being nice to their Grampa....

  2. Love this!! I am so gonna try this with Holly! She is going through the same stage but her worst is the "what" and "huh" not so many why's but when she asks a question and you answer her she will ask it 3-4 more times and change her wording!!


Leave me some love! I read them all and it always makes me feel warm and fuzzy when people comment!