Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 179: Motivation Movers

Oy.  As much as we love our children, we get sooo tired of the nagging, having to repeat things umpteen times, constant was getting so our house was not a particularly positive place.  Trying to teach our kids that they need to follow the rules in our home (and believe me, there probably aren't as many as there could--and possibly should--be), be respectful of their parents as they are to other adults, be obedient, and mannerly has been a trial.  Ufda. 

So I took away an idea from Julia's teacher and adapated it for use at home.

Enter these little florist glass thingies.  The kids chose the colours and a glass vase to put them inm and I simply give them opportunities to earn them.  "OK--I'm going to ask you to put your pjs on now--if I don't have to ask again, you get a gem."  When we are reading the scriptures together, if you are respectful, sit quietly, and listen, you get a gem(or two--I'm not picky).  Eat their supper?  Gem.  Pick up their toys when I ask the first time?  Gem.  Go to bed without calling me upstairs a dozen times?  Gem.  When I bite my tongue and choose to use a patient, kind voice rather than be snarky?  I give myself a gem!  The catch?  If they say, "I did such and such, can I get a gem?"  The answer is nope.  hehe.

When the vase is full, it's a special, family fun time of their choice.  We do fun things as a family anyway, but this can be something the kids can choose to do.

Now, some people might thing a reward system for things that they are expected to do doesn't make sense.  I say if you can teach your kids to be happily appropriate at home without it--my hat goes off to you.   In our case, they always have had to do whatever it was that was required, but it was like pulling teeth.  Having to make the request a gazillion times and be ignored, and the ante always being upped was driving me loopy!   There was also the feeling that it didn't matter what mom or dad said, chances are they'd do what they wanted anyway, consequence be hooied, and then I'd have to deal with THAT issue, and then everone was unhappy.  It was the attitude that needed changing.   What this has started to do is make the execution of whatever the task is a lot more streamlined and happy, at least so far.  I have good kids, I really do.  I'm sounding like they're little terrors!  But it is so frustrating when the wonderful behavior that is exhibited everywhere else goes out the window when they get home.  And that had to change.

Yes, there are still fights to referee, issues that need to be fixed, times when what the child wants right then or the emotion they feel overrides everything else.  So there are still those policeman mommy moments.  But I figure that right now the important thing is to bring a positive, loving, happy feeling in our home again.  A feeling of working for something fun.  And hopefully, like the stickers I used when I was potty training the kids, once it becomes second nature they won't need them any more.

At least that's my hope.  It has only been going about two weeks.  Sunday was like a major relapse.  Not sure what was in the water.  But today they're back to being awesome little people. Having fun with each other, figuring out how to handle disagreements, being helpful.  It is a joy.




Laurie Ashton Farook said...

That sounds a lot like - making a game out of chores and good behavior and such. Personally, not being a parent, what do I know, but it sounds to me that, if it works, then what else matters?

Kudos for you for finding a creative and fun solution. :)

TKW said...

I think this is a genius idea! I just might steal it. We need some positive reinforcement over here!

kathryn said...

I love it! It's an excellent idea to reinforce positive behavior...that's the way you're "supposed" to do it, according to the "experts". The mistake, I've where they punish, or take away, for bad opposed to just not earning anything.

It's never too early to teach our children that positive behavior results in a good, positive outcome. What's wrong with reinforcing that??

Love it!

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

I think it's a great idea. Anything that ever helped or work with my kids always involed some type of positive reinforcement, like a reward. Anyone that doesn't "approve" has never had kids. Or else doesn't mind yelling all the time.

Anonymous said...

An outstanding entry of yours. Chapeau !

As a father of a 29 months old boy this was for sure of interest to read, as he lately did start to question what I say and do ;)

Please have you all a wonderful Wednesday.

Allegria said...

Laurie: I'll have to look up chorewars.

TKW: It would be an honour, truly. I'm just hoping it doesn't lose it's luster quickly. *prayer sent skyward here*

Kathryn: Oy--there's plenty of that other stuff going on here some days, let me tell you.

Maureen: That's just it. I was getting so tired of raising my voice. Using a reasonable tone at first, then gradually getting louder until I was shrieking like the proverbial fishmonger's wife.

Robert: OOOH! Just you wait! I always say that it's a good thing little ones are cute, coz they sure are a lot of work!

Allegria said...
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