The Bucket Filler
Jeffrey has been having a rough time of it since his daddy left on deployment 2 weeks ago, which is translating to some misbehaving. His problem is acting when he’s mad or frustrated without thinking, so I’ve been trying to come up with ways to get him to think first, and then act.
On the first day of school, Jeffrey’s teacher talked about bucket fillers and bucket tippers. It made a strong impression on him, and the boy who’s resistant to telling me what he did in school that day told me all about the buckets. When you do something nice for someone, you fill their bucket. When you do something mean, you tip their bucket over. Jeffrey was very excited about listing all the ways he could fill my and his sister’s buckets.
Earlier today, while on Pinterest, I saw a pin that took me to a blog post about “catching” kids being good for positive reinforcement. This was something a teacher was using in her classroom, but I quickly saw how I could modify this for Jeffrey and combine it with his teacher’s bucket filler idea.
So first, I needed a bucket. Of course, everyone’s already pulled their beach toys in favor of Halloween costumes, but I found the perfect size basket at Michael’s. And then I got a little crazy.
The basket was on sale (and was unattractive fall colors), so I started by covering it with some of my hand-dyed fabric (but any small pieces of fabric will do) both inside and out – inside first folded over the edge, then a strip wrapped around the handle (I tore this strip rather than cutting it, so I didn’t have to worry about finishing the edge and instead made it a decorative feature), and then outside with the top edge folded neatly.
I’d found a pack of wooden tags with letters printed on them, so I bought them to spell out a reminder of what Jeffrey’s supposed to be. I didn’t like the plain light wood color, so I colored them with a blue glitter crayon (you can’t see the sparkle in this picture, but it shows in real life). I’m going to color them a bit more – I made the mistake of gluing first, forgetting I wanted to color them, so it was a bit hard to get a good layer.
The final touch: Jeffrey’s completely obsessed with the Samurai Power Rangers, which is actually helpful because I can use them as good examples for him to emulate. His favorite ranger is Kevin, the Blue Ranger (mostly because his favorite color is blue), so I found several images online and printed them out on card stock, then cut them out and glued them to the basket.
It was very much a quick and dirty job, but I think it’ll do the trick. Jeffrey is quite taken with his new bucket – now Lexie wants one too!