|behavior charts are a total drag|
While behavior charts have shown great results for my kids in the past, I never have all the supplies on hand to keep it up. And by supplies I mean a piece of paper and writing utensil, stickers if my kids were lucky. So I came up with a new idea that requires no supplies and is a total ego booster for me. I need constant validation. It must be so exhausting.
The kids start each day with 5 minutes of alone time with me. But they can't cash in their minutes until bedtime. Throughout the day, if they yell, hit, swear, or tease each other, they get a minute taken away. If I see a nasty behavior pop up, I give them a warning and tell them moving forward that's a minute off. The only way to get a minute back is to do a major chore. It's easy to get minutes taken away, but takes a lot of effort to get them back. I'm talking like clean the entire living room. I even used this method to get the boys to walk into school without crying. I awarded them 2 extra minutes if they walked into class like brave little soldiers. Ella always walks in without a problem, so I gave her 2 extra minutes for being such a good example.
Every night, each kid cashes in their minutes. Alone. They can do whatever they want to do with my undivided attention. Oscar usually chooses to watch a music video, Owen usually wants to do a craft or get tickles, and Ella usually picks getting her hair done in the sloppiest french braids ever. Some nights we run out of time so we'll squeeze in their minutes the next morning, or some nights I forget it entirely. But I've been consistent enough that I can use this method to get things a little more happy and peaceful around here.
Since starting this a few months ago, my ego grown to new lengths I never knew possible. Watching people work so hard to spend time with me is the best feeling. They cherish our time together. It's most likely their favorite part of the day. ME! The truth is, I enjoy my time with them more than they know. Each day I find ways for them to get extra minutes and usually end up giving them way more than they actually earned.
And now since I've made myself out to be mom of the century (gag), I'll bring things back into perspective and show a few of my parenting fails over the years . . .
|#1. Letting 4-year-old Ella take 2-year-old Owen on a walk in a parking lot.|
|#2. Allowing Ella hang over a ledge while I snap a photo.|
|#3. Not warning Oscar about wasabi. Aaaand taking a picture of his suffering instead of helping him.|
|#4. Forgetting to tell Oscar and Owen to keep the shaving cream off their face. This is the last picture i took before the screaming started. "My eyes are burning! Ahhh!"|
|#6. Letting my kids drinking cola from a glass bottle . . .|
|which led to Owen slashing his wrist with the bottle. I can barely see the scare now, but I still feel so guilty about this one. He fell on his glass bottle on our trip in Mexico. It was a total nightmare.|
|#7 Oh dear. I don't even know where to begin. What was the purpose of this picture? Was I bored? From the looks of it I had plenty of kids to rescue and things to clean.|