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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Sister Points

A couple of days ago, I spontaneously awarded Josie 5 Big Sister Points.

At the time it was just an off-hand remark, in response to her considerate comforting of her sister when Lori had fallen off her scooter for the millionth time that day, and I was too occupied with getting us all along the road in time for holiday club and school to give Lori the sympathy she felt she deserved.

Josie did give her that sympathy, and it was helpful for me, and kind to her sister. So I awarded some points. I've never done this before, it's not like sister points are a thing in our house. But despite that unfamiliarity, Josie's affinity with them was immediate:

"Oooh. Sister points! And five of them."

Later on in the walk, Lori helped Josie in return. She got some too. They both jumped up and down, cheering:

"Hurray, we've both got five now!"

The concept of reward for helpfulness isn't foreign to them. We do have a pocket money system, which is based on the doing of household chores, helpful tasks, perfect play-throughs of piano tunes, and things like that. Pocket money can also be lost, through extreme naughtiness (not that much of a problem) or laziness (more of a problem, thay are little Laws after all).

Sister points are not like pocket money, I've decided. They can't be pre-awarded for specific tasks ("Share that toy, and you'll get a sister point), they can't be docked ("You weren't nice to your sister, 5 points off"), they're just a spontaneous and fun way of saying, "Well done!", which my two have really taken to. The important thing is that they are unexpected and not-looked-for. I don't want two girls who are only kind to each other for a reward, and we certainly don't have that at the moment.

So, it begs the questions...should I allow conversion of sister points into something tangible? Should I keep a formal tally of sister points? If I did, it would be a shared pool. Sister points are not a competition.

Or does that miss the point of Sister Points? Should I keep them just as a fun, light-hearted, and a bit of a silly way to gameify life?

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