The final step in the Collaborative Schedule process is reinforcing schedule completion. Reinforcing is especially important when there are a great deal more Must Do activities as opposed to Want to Do activities as well as when you are collaborating with more than one child. By reinforcing your children for getting through the entire schedule, you can give them something to look forward to – even if all their Want to Do activities are done for the day.
How Do You Reinforce?
My child is not reinforced by food treats, so we use a prize chest (similar to this) but you could use a food treat as well. You could also give tech time (Little Miss enjoys earning these tech time tokens) or anything else that motivates your child.
In the beginning, I gave a reward each day for completing the schedule, but as we continued to use the schedule every day, I began rewarding at random intervals:
- Beginning – every day
- 3 weeks in – every 2-3 days
- 5 weeks in – about once per week
So, for example, in week 3, if I gave a reward on Monday, I might wait until Thursday until offering another. When I rewarded on Thursday, I would say something like, “we’ve been doing an awesome job at finishing our schedule! Let’s have a reward!”
We’re well into our second month of Collaborative Scheduling now and i no longer need to reward schedule completion. Little Miss is used to how it works and participating in the schedule is its own reward for her. Keep in mind though that the length of time you need to keep rewarding (as well as the frequency) will depend on your fellow collaborators.