How To Use Happy Tokens
First and foremost I must point out that Happy Tokens are not for naughty children, or naughty parents . Sad tokens are sad, not bad, not naughty just sad; an emotion not a label. Children are not punished by receiving a sad token but encouraged to perhaps understand consequences, challenges, responsibility and above all communicate.
There are two essential components to Happy Tokens systems, these are the tokens and the tubes. Both components are needed to make the system as effective as possible. Each system may also include two types of token: happy and sad (sad is optional). I’m sure by now you are getting the picture.
Each and every aspect of our products are designed with a purpose.
Happy Tokens were designed to be different. By including the Sad Tokens I provided an opportunity to track and monitor all behaviour. By using the Happy and Sad in contrasting coloured Tokens, I could see patterns. My oldest struggled on a morning (More Sad Tokens than Happy), my middle child struggled after school. Because of the way the Tokens are stacked results are very visual instantly.
The process made me more aware of my parenting and the individuality of my children. No other system offers that insight.
Before you begin
Communication is another unique factor in Happy Token design. It is incorporated into every facet of use.
When ready to use our system, sit and talk to your child(ren). Discuss what goals you think they can achieve, not what they should refrain from. Be specific and positive and try just one goal for the first week or two. I recommend only using happy tokens in first weeks too. This allows your child(ren) to understand and grow fond of the system.
Dont forget to discuss and agree on rewards your children would want (see our Happy Members area for inspiration once you have purchased). Follow their lead and stay away from expensive or unrealistic rewards. One to one time, a trip to the park or even choosing and help make the dinner are a few free but desirable suggestions. Draw up a list/menu of rewards a children can chose from or fill a reward basket. As the child grows or goals become more progressive other approaches can be initiated (again see our Happy Members area once you have purchased).
The Ground Rules
Once a realistic goal is set, then you can discuss when and how Happy Tokens are awarded (even sad tokens are awarded see below). Again be clear but dont stop issuing extra happy tokens for day to day achievements that deserve praise and recognition. Go a little mad in the first few weeks and shower your child(ren) with many happy tokens. Sprinkle them like confetti! This helps you and your child to recognise the positives they are already capable of, and illustrates to them that the sky is the limit in what they can achieve.
Up and away
The parameters of the how, when, what and why Happy Tokens are awarded are completely within your remit. Once the system is established become a little more stringent with awarding those Happy Tokens. Still give specific praise and keep up the day to day good stuff but reiterate why they recieve a Happy Token each time one is awarded.
Tokens can be collected until a pre-set total is reached and then a reward is given, or just counted out at the end of a pre-set time period. The time period is important. For younger children reaching milestones such as potty training, perhaps set just an afternoon or morning to collect tokens and then count them up and reward them. For older children a week is long enough, any longer and they can become disheartened or disinterested. You know your child and what they are capable of. You are the expert in setting those perameters.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to use sad tokens?
Not at all we can provide you with all happy tokens if that’s what you prefer.
How many tokens can fit in a (single) tube?
About 30 but we only provide 20 so that a younger child is not overwhelmed by the thought of having to fill a whole tube to recieve a treat or reward. However, 30 works for older children or working towards a bigger reward.
From what age can you use Happy Tokens?
My daughter was about 18 month when we started to use them with her but we did already have children in the house who used them. Honestly, each child is different and you know best as to what your child is capable of understanding.
Can you use Happy Tokens for bed time routines?
Yes, in fact we have a whole milestone range to help child development.
Involve your child(ren) in purchasing their Happy Tokens, let them choose their colours and get excited.
Encourage your child(ren) to pick two contrasting colours where Sad tokens are used.
Avoid using the same colour for the name as the tokens its all about visual impact.
If purchasing more than one tube try to encourage your child(ren) to use the same colour for Sad Tokens.
NEVER NEVER take away a Happy Token…NEVER!
Award a token immediately when you see your child(ren) try or achieve their goal.
Take tokens with you when you go out so that your approach is consistent.