Bhoo wears the thinking cap!

As if that is possible!

Metrics driven Parenting!

Posted by bhoo on June 10, 2007

I have this reputation – most of it self-proclaimed – but much of it very true – that I am not very organized.

Building Aspire – I have a lot to learn in terms of having metrics and driving the entire operations number-driven.  We have done ISO-9000, but are we truly metrics driven in its truest sense – I would say “no”.  Are we trying to change that?  Yes.

But, years of learning and working with Gowri and many others, has gotten me personally to a point where I have become a metric driven – parent!  Yes, it is true.

I do not know if “metrics” is the word or “a simple incentive system” is the word.   (I saw a movie by name “Employee of the Month” where I found that some corporates use this “star” system to rate employees, but believe me, I came up with this all by myself!)

Here is what happens:

§         We have a calendar stuck on the wall, that has a rectangle for each date – of 2 inches by 3 inches size.  It is a regular monthly calendar like the ones people use to write “milk accounts” in India – it is the desk calendar that I picked up from FedexKinkos..

§         We have bought 2 sticker books – one with small star and small smiley stickers and one with large “encouraging” stickers – that has wordings like fantastic, awesome, etc.

§         Every time my son does something good – like he behaves very well in a restaurant, he has a “zero-tear” day, or he brushes his teeth well, or whatever, we give him a small star or a smiley sticker.  He gets to paste that in the calendar for that date.

§         Every small star has double-rewards for him. 

1.       Chocolate award:  He can convert each small sticker into a small chocolate (like a Gems (M&M), or a peanut dots, etc.)  Or, he can accumulate 5 and convert into a mid-sized chocolate or a bowl ice-cream.

2.       In addition, each 5 small stickers earns him a large motivational sticker.  He sticks those motivational stickers on the gifts that he plans to earn.

§         Every time we buy a gift for him – we mark price for the gift in terms of number of large stickers.  For example, we bought a large Easel for him.  It is a large gift.  He worked hard through 2-3 weeks, earning stickers after stickers, and stuck large stickers one after the other and “earned” this gift – with 5 large motivational stickers – 25 small stars.  You should have seen the pleasure on his face when he actually won this.  He was so happy – he played with this new toy for hours.

§          We used to struggle with ideas for punishment (or stick against carrot) when he misbehaves.  Nowadays, a great, a non-violent and a very effective punishment is “removing the stars”.  If we warn him that we will remove stars, he immediately listens and stops mis-behaving. 

§         This has worked so wonderful.  He seems to understand the basics of this complex reward system, and understands the fundamentals – that he does not get gifts free – he needs to earn them.  He earns them by doing good.  Crowded star days or weeks are good weeks for him.  If he does not have stars in a day, that means, it is a normal day or a negative day.

§        We keep the gifts roster busy and attractive.  Right now, he has a lot more gifts to earn, including a trip to Bronx Zoo (6 large stars), a book, a few DVDs, etc. 

§         He seems to enjoy the process as well, and feels proud to see the calendar full of stars.  He values the stars, and the gifts a lot.


3 Responses to “Metrics driven Parenting!”

  1. Mohan said

    I Luv this blog, fun and useful, But please don’t set him Goal in Jan-1st for the entire year as they do it in work place 🙂

  2. bhoo said


    Interesting that I received this comment just on the same day I made a post on annual resolutions… 🙂



    Rewarding a child is a motivational factor may be the solution tried out by a Marketing Parents once a bad or unacceptable act is followed. Being marketing professionals the think tank goes in line of creating the need in the minds of the child may be for a sojourn like the products survive in the markets. A deep analysis is to be applied on the behavioral pattern for such misbehaviours. Children are not like the Bulls which goes on moving in Grinding mills on hearing the Hi Hi sound by the owner even while taking his lunch to simply follow the instructions. Cause for such irrational acts and behavours are to be probed while the Ahimsa way of rewaring solution is also followed for mending the charector. This applies to every human being and every organization too as infinte is the height of demands and thinking process of human race. This is my humble and personal views.

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