I love my sisters completely, but years into adulthood, I still have vague recollections of us disagreeing, and possibly fighting, throughout our childhood. I’m still convinced I’m imagining most of the excessive bickering though. We couldn’t have possible argued all the time. Right?!
Now that I have four boys, the oldest three of who are extremely close in age, I am plagued by bickering, tattle-tailing, ‘he-said/’she-said’ disputes, etc. Just bickering, over everything. Over anything. Sometimes…even over nothing. I love my boys to death, but I just can’t deal with constant, and needless conflict. I’ve had to get creative to not simply ‘cope’ with this sibling issue, but to combat it head-on. While my husband and I are no strangers to ‘consequences’ I do like to try an incentive or reward-based program first. The lollipop tree was something I had stumbled upon on Pinterest, as a party decoration, but I had other things in mind for this adorable little ‘plant’.
Our lollipop tree is used as a reward system for acts of kindness. Every time we witness an unprompted act of generosity, helpfulness, compassion…you name it. The kids get a lollipop. While I hoped this practice would work when I began it, I have to admit I was more than a little skeptical. However, after almost a year in action, I can definitely see the successes. Of course, being realistic, it hasn’t weeded out all the bickering and combativeness, but it has gone a long way to serve as a permanent, visual reminder to think about their actions, and even the consequences that may result from them.
1, 2, 3 … Lollipop Tree
- small plant pot of your color, size, and choice
- a Styrofoam ball that fits into the opening of your pot, and is snugly supported by it
- an economy size bag of Dum-Dum lollipops
- Place the styrofoam ball on top of the plant pot.
- Start sticking your Dum-Dum lollipops into the styrofoam ball, keeping the lollipops close together.
3. Continue sticking the lollipops in until you’ve filled up the entire part of the ball that is showing outside the plant pot.
You’re done! How easy was that?!
And, I have to add that if I did have a daughter or an opportunity to plan a girl’s birthday party, this would be the perfect table decoration for any Candyland, or candy ‘themed’ party!