Being a parent is one huge roller coaster.
You think you have one area done and dusted: the sleepless nights, the teething, the toileting, a fear,a goal, and then BAM! another hurdle pops up in your way.
I have found Motherhood about learning and changing as my kids also learn and grow.
To be honest, at times it is bloody exhausting!
Of late my two have been bickering and fighting so much it has almost driven me insane!
That on top of the normal hurdles such as getting ready in time in the morning, or getting them to have a bath, brush their teeth, get ready for bed without asking a million times.
I am putting my hand up to say that parenting is damm tough at times.
It does not help when others try and tell you what you are doing wrong, rather than support you.
It was time to introduce a rewards chart into our home- we have had many before, and I have to be honest in saying they have just ended up falling to the wayside, or not working due to me not being so consistent, lets be honest, it adds another thing into the mix of modern day juggling.
Something had to happen though, and I was over losing my shit, so I decided to implement a behavior chart into our home again, but do it different this time.
Previously the kids would just get random ticks for great behavior, and when they collected a certain amount of ticks, they could pick something out of the rewards box.
On looking back at their completed charts, they could not remember exactly what the ticks were rewarded for, and purchasing enough rewards to fill a box ended up getting expensive, and most of it was crap that just broke anyhow.
So I decided to make it more clear and concise.
I found a great site with many templates here.
For my 7 year old daughter, I used the Hello Kitty template, and for my 4 year old son, we went with Spiderman.
I chose the template with 5 sections, and I broke them up in the link below:
RESPECT: * Respect for other people
* Respect for belongings
* Respect for different opinions
ACTION: Doing all the daily actions I need to get organised eg: getting ready, brushing teeth, making bed, having meals, unpacking school bag, ready for dinner, bath time, bed time etc.
HELPING: Helping Mum and Dad with chores
Such as cleaning up dishes, sweeping floor, hanging
out washing , getting van ready.
KINDNESS: To myself and each other:
Understanding the we each make mistakes and be
Able to support each other and our differences.
BONUS!: Get a tick for doing something awesome!
Image from here
With 5 sections over 7 days, the kids have the opportunity to earn up to 35 ticks a week.
I have set out a goal of 25 ticks, and if they get to that goal, they can choose a coupon.
A trip to the park /beach/creek
A family picnic
A tea party
Make a cake
Arts and Crafts morning
Half and hour of uninterrupted parent time with parent of choice
I have done up approximately 20 different coupons, and will be sure to change them up and add more as time goes on.
Different families would have different ideas for coupons.
I realize that I have been making too many empty threats.
We do go to the park and creek a bit, but now I am telling the kids they need to get their point in order to do this, and in some cases, they can use their coupons together for something extra fun, like a trip to the beach followed by lunch, or a tea party followed by a movie night.
We started the chart this week, and not once have we been late for school.
Teeth are cleaned before I have to ask twice.
The kids are running to get into bed on time for a bonus point,
And the school bags are being unpacked with lunch boxes put on the sink without asking!
I am hanging onto this for as long as it works, and I aim to be more consistent this time.
I feel less stressed, and the kids are enjoying working towards goals and cheer when they get points.
There is still fights – kids will be kids, but they are not enough to make me want to run away.
As I said, we are still in early days, but even if it only gives me a week reprieve, it is worth it!
Added Note: Week 1 of the Reward Chart was completed today.
We have wiped off a few points over the week for some bad behavior, but I am proud to say both kids have earned at least 25 points each!
As a celebration for an awesome week one, I took the family out for morning tea.
We still have loads to work on, and as we all know, no one is ever perfect, but the increase in great behavior in our house and the smiles on our kids faces for positive reinforcement has been great.
Fingers crossed now we continue on this path.
Have an awesome weekend all!