9/3/13

Behavior Chart for My Ego

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!"
#5. Moving my kids out of the suburbs. This is the picture I took as we pulled away from "the yellow house" for the last time. My kids still remember this house and ask to move back to it. The new owners painted it brown, but to us it will always be known as the yellow house. 
#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. 
Follow on Bloglovin

93 comments:

  1. Best practice! Best pictures! Sooo funy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is one of my favorite posts ever.

    I laughed so hard...I'm still laughing!

    All of this is so timely too, as I just had a house cleaner come give me a quote for my oh too messy house. As we walked from room to room, I shuttered of embarrassment at the dishes in the sink and the stray socks in every corner of the house...thankful there are other normal people in the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Omg, that reminds me of when I gave my house cleaner the initial tour. Mind you, she'd worked for me and my ex before, but she quoted me $10 more than what we had paid as a couple. I had to ask why, just out of curiosity. She said, "Girl, you have a lot of stuff." Honesty, I like it.

      So, yes, me alone is messier than my stuff plus another person's. :\

      Delete
  3. Excellent! I only manange to spend exclusive time with my kids, my husband is really available, we split the kids a lot and do lots of one to one activities, so that wouldn't work for me unfortunately! Kudos for that idea!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That last pic is amazeballs! love love!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Awww...Memory Lane:) Great pics! Good times:)
    ~C

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hahaha these pictures made me laugh so, so much! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Laughing so hard - I love the the last one....I remember those days.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hilarious as always... and Picture #7 is cracking me up!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love this! That last picture is TOO funny.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your new behavior chart idea is great. And I think part of being a good mom is not taking everything too seriously! You've mastered that:) The last picture kills me!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I watch the vlogs of a mom with 3 kids and she made a day in the life video and it the beginning showed how clean the house was and then after the kids went to bed showed what it turned into lol.

    ellas face in the car is so sad! I think as they get older they'll like the city more, especially when they want to go places

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. omg. my house is so much cleaner now that they are at school all day. and the days when i eat out for dinner? sparkling clean!

      Delete
  12. you are the mum of the century hehe... cuz you are real... not like those glossy mums who only shows perfect moments in blogs or mags.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh, Sharon, you are the best. We bought a house a year ago and my kids still ask if we can go back to visit our old one. Even though our new one is WAY better! What's up with that?

    ReplyDelete
  14. more of this, please! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. you are the best mom ever. This is the best mom blog ever written.

    ReplyDelete
  16. awesome post. Love Ella's outfit in the first pic - so great for passersby to see her thinking, "wtf?"

    More of these posts and ROB!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This post seems unlike you. Are you really punishing your children if they cry or show an emotion other than happiness? Your kids aren't allowed to yell? What will they do as adults when they feel anger if they are not parented now, as young kids, in how to address their anger and exhibit it? They have to stuff it away if they want time with their mom? Worse, you are taking away time they might have with you? I can't tell if this post is serious but if it is, I recommend you read the book How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk. Children should never be taught that when they express a range of emotions that their parents are uncomfortable with they should be punished. Sure, hitting and teasing are not okay but these are moments of learning for young kids. Kids need to know when they express emotion that at least one parent will be beside them, particularly if the emotion is one of anger or sadness. I am sad to hear you are punishing your boys for crying on the way to school. I am really hoping this post is not serious. If it is, I hope you take another read and and consider some other avenues in how to parent kids through emotion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hey emily. i'll for sure check out that book. always looking for ways to better my parenting skills. here's my response to your questions:
      1. i think kids yelling at adults is disrespectful. i will not tolerant it. they can disagree with me and tell me. but yell at me (or each other for that matter) in an argument? noway.
      2. owen cried on my shoulder for the first 3 days of school. you're probably right, i rewarded him for not crying on the 4th. noted. i won't do that anymore. they still need to walk into school without clinging to me until the last second though. just walk in, (crying is fine) but go damn it. ;)

      Delete
    2. ps i just bought the book on my kindle!!!

      Delete
  18. I love your blog because you always tell it how it is. And you're one of the only moms I've ever seen willing to post a picture of what her house *actually* looks like when the kids are playing. Oh, and way to be super classy when responding to the comment above. I'm not a mom, but when I am I'll have to try out your 5 minutes with me trick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Stella. It's hard as a mom to find ways to get your kids to behave. My kids love it when I snuggle with them at night so I'm stealing this idea for extra bedtime minutes.

      Delete
  19. I loved this post...keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Amazing post. Best mom blog ever, seconded!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I really hate those charts....Love the pictures

    ReplyDelete
  22. When I was a kid, my mom told me that wasabi was green sherbet. Don't know if I'll ever forgive her for that one!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love how real you are. Those photos are hilarious!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Awesome! :-) You're so funny! Your kids are lucky peeps.

    ReplyDelete
  25. love this post. thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I hope this is just humor and not what things are really like in your family

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is freaking awesome. I love this post. I love you. I love your kids. I love how real you are. Thank you.
    And seriously? You are a classy dame for not ripping mean commenters heads off. But you know what they say...haters gonna hate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha thanks. i can only be so nice though. (see below) haha. whoops. haters gonna hate indeed.

      Delete
  28. I generally enjoy your blog and I absolutely love the pictures of the parenting "fails" are hilarious and true to life. I totally enjoyed that part of the post.
    But, the idea of withholding time with your child as a punishment seems pretty mean. I understand that you probably don't actually stop spending time with them when they are bad (and find reasons to give them extra time), but in the mind of a child, being able to only spend time with you if they are good seems a bit damaging.
    This blog in general is a testament to home much time you spend and how many activities you do with your children. But, you might want to rethink this idea of discipline/incentive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. totally see your point. glad you enjoyed my fails!! :)

      Delete
  29. I have to agree with those who have said that this specific parenting technique comes across as mean, and yes, damaging. As a professional counselor, I assure you that there are many better ways to reward and discipline children. There is nothing wrong with teaching them not to yell at adults or each other, or to wean them away from crying when they have to part from you - but using yourself as a reward or punishment is not it. It is damaging. To children, it could begin to seem like you are not someone who is accessible to them whenever/wherever they need you - but someone whose time is limited and has to be earned not given freely out of love. I do not doubt for a second that you love your children dearly, and that you DO devote every minute you can to them - but children understand things in a much different way than adults. This approach is not something children that young can comprehend as a 'technique' for teaching them certain life skills/practices.

    I really hope you rethink this approach. It has the definite potential to be very damaging as they grow older! I truly mean no disrespect - am a fan of your blog, but this post really did shock me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. omg free professional counseling. thanks so much. i'm sure my kids will be seeing you soon. please send me your contact info.

      Delete
    2. Hey, there's no need to be mean here to anonymous (And I'm not the same anonymous...a different one)! But I'd agree, and actually, the parenting literature would agree with using "special time" as a reward. The message it sends is that your love and attention are contingent on behavior. So special time with a parent should be given daily.

      I do like that your kids are earning something for good behavior, but could you change it, slightly, so it has less of a negative connotation? So they earn...I don't know...an extra bedtime story, 5 extra minutes in the bath, staying up 10 minutes later.

      Delete
  30. Eh, I think this particular technique of rewarding/providing consequences is super weird. Particularly with twins (who often crave alone time with a parent and rarely have the opportunity), it doesn't make sense to me to take away minutes alone with mom for bad behaviour - why not withhold a less emotionally loaded treat instead? Frankly, I don't think this system is headed anywhere good in the long term.

    I know you're a great mother, and since I generally love and read your blog, I'm pretty much 100% sure you give your children lots of quality time that doesn't depend on their behaviour. ;) Please don't take this criticism too seriously, just a as a tiny heads up to something I found ominous in a tiny slice of your life.

    ReplyDelete
  31. This is probably the worst parenting tip I ever heard...

    ReplyDelete
  32. This has really bothered me all day since I read it.... I find that when my kids are "bad," those are often the days that they need MORE one-on-one time with me, not less. My oldest is a 10 year old girl, in that pre-teen mode, so a little older than yours. So maybe that's the difference? But my son is 6 and often needs me most on those rough days.
    Your sarcastic responses to the critical comments is not impressive, either. I will not be back.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Seriously. I'm not 100% sure that I agree with everything these critical comments have said, but your replies are terrible, Sharon. I usually like reading this blog, but in replying the way you did (to what were actually very polite comments) you have just made yourself look like an idiot and majorly lost my respect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what are your thoughts on Miley's performance at the VMAs? i loved it!!!

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure if you're trying to come across as someone who doesn't appreciate or respect her readers, but that is big time how you're coming across. Maybe you do in fact take your readers for granted--gross. Not graceful.
      Incidentally, here is Miley's response to Sinead O'Connor.
      http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/10/03/miley-cyrus-sinead-oconnor-twitter/

      Is it possible Miley's parents were graceless and sarcastic when she was young and she's parroting their behavior? Good job and good luck with that. :)

      Delete
  34. My first impression of this piece is that it hurts my heart a bit that it's only 5 minutes a day. That seems like such a short time!

    Also, the part about subtracting from the only five precious minutes hurts even more....

    ReplyDelete
  35. Your "parenting fails" are epic and honest. I laughed and cringed and recognized myself in every frame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PEOPLE: read Kat's blog. i just click through her link. so funny!!!!

      Delete
  36. Hahah this made me laugh! Especially the last photo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks angela. your blog is stunning. and so is your boyfriend ;)

      Delete
  37. Sharon, I have a family friend who used to do something similar... except she only gave out bonus time. All the kids started with the same amount of flat, undivided attention-time. Instead of taking away time for naughty behavior, like yelling at Mom or kicking Dad in the grocery store, she gave the kids bonus time for helping around the house, being respectful, setting a good example, etc.

    If I remember correctly, the mom made it a kind of competition among the kids (who would have the most time at the end of the day?!). The kids always worked so hard to get more time with Mom!! It's all the perks, and none of the bummer drawbacks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. these are really great ideas!! going to give them a try. thanks :)

      Delete
    2. Why would you make parental love a competition?

      Delete
  38. Commentators lighten up! Of course she responded with sarcasm. Your ridiculous and judgmental comments left her no choice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i could kiss you. didn't they read the post? I need constant validation. hahha

      Delete
  39. I'm genuinely horrified by this, for reasons that others have stated.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Reminds me of my emotionally abusive dad.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Oh gosh, just read all of these messages about your horrific parenting. hahaa You're not feeling bad about the responses, right? I love that system for nothing else but reminding you to spend that quality time with them. I really enjoy spending one-on-one time with my kids but I get so caught up in laundry and dishes and candy crush that the day just flys by. I know you personally so I know that your kids are super well adjusted, smart, happy and overall great kids. You must be doing something right!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JEANNINE!! LOVE YOU. Thank you.

      weren't these comments hilarious? they remind me hecklers at a comedy club.

      Delete
  42. It’s ironic that you write a post about parental fails – but take pride in the biggest fail of all.
    I think all parents use wrong methods sometimes in a desperate attempt to control their kids behavior. I’m not surprised that you have done that, I’m just surprised that you’re proud of it.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hey Sharon, I'm usually a silent reader here. Anyway, I love that you always tell it as it is and your family is just beautiful. I totally got what you meant, and I'm sure many others do. Don't let the mean comments get to you and just keep writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much for this note, bee. :)

      Delete
  44. Hey, I always read but never comment. Don't let rude people get to you... everyone has their own idea of how to parent. If it is working for you and your kids are happy, go for it.

    You know, my best friend's mom's motto is "I know I raised 'em right because my kids can afford their own therapist!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks. hahaha love that motto. i'll pass it on :)

      Delete
  45. As a therapist, I LOVE that motto!! Also as a therapist I find it pretty offensive when therapists/counselors so freely offer their professional advice when not being asked. And unfortunately I've met plenty that don't get sarcasm (and plenty that do, I keep them close). I've gotten plenty of looks with my motto (stolen from a friend), "Hopefully we're saving for college & therapy rather than rehab & bail." ;)

    ReplyDelete
  46. As a therapist, I LOVE that motto!! Also as a therapist I find it pretty offensive when therapists/counselors so freely offer their professional advice when not being asked. And unfortunately I've met plenty that don't get sarcasm (and plenty that do, I keep them close). I've gotten plenty of looks with my motto (stolen from a friend), "Hopefully we're saving for college & therapy rather than rehab & bail." ;)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Sharon I just clicked through these comments from the link in today's (9/23) post and ho.ly.cow.!! I'm not a mom yet, but I've been a babysitter/nanny for many families and I think the most important thing is to do what works for you. A happy home can't be boiled down to a formula and I think your honest, loving approach is refreshing!!! Screw the people who claim to know it all, I love your mom blog because you don't preach, you just share- the good the bad and the meltdowns. Rock on!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Your horrible parenting just caused all the eggs in my heretofore unspoiled ovaries to die.

    ReplyDelete
  49. (Good GRIEF. You are hilarious. You are clearly a fabulous mom. Never change)

    (Also, I know I'm late to this party, and I NEVER wade into these things, but something about these comments really bothered me)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hahahaha this is like the 6th time I've come back to this post. Cracks me up every time. You're awesome.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 

NYC Taught Me All rights reserved © Blog Milk Design Powered by Blogger