They say the best teachers are the ones who take the ideas of others and use them. I did just that this past month at our own home. We had tried a bean jar a couple of years ago, but are kiddos were just too young at the time to grasp the concept. After reading a post by http://www.twoboysandababygirl.blogspot.com/ I was inspired to try the jar again. We started three weeks ago and explained the rules to the kids on a Sunday afternoon. They began very quickly accumulating pebbles.
After a particularly rough day one afternoon they lost MANY pebbles and basically started over about a week into the program. BUT, they rebounded well and today we all enjoyed the rewards of their hard work! Together Ryan and Allison decided that the family would spend the afternoon bowling. Grandpa & Grandma were visiting and got to enjoy the outing with us then treated us all to ice cream afterwards, so our reward was extra sweet!
My goals for the children when starting our pebble jar was to teach them respect and responsibility for others. I also wanted to teach them to treat each other with more kindness. When we first started the project the kids had to be gently prompted to open a door for a stranger or help someone. About two weeks into our project I noticed Ryan was holding the door open at church for people without being asked and was patiently waiting his turn while other older members of church went in ahead of him!
We emptied out our bean jar after the outing and I asked the kids what they want to do next time they fill the jar. Ryan responded with "I think I'll let Allie select our next outing, bowling was kind of my thing." I thought that was an awesome response from him! The next few minutes they discussed a plan for their next outing and I think, based on their discussion, we will be visiting the local Children's museum or Chuck E. Cheese. After hearing Ryan make the comment about letting Allie select the next outing and then listening to them decide a plan together, I think I have also accomplished the goal of having them learn to be nice and work together!