“I’m warning you!” I shouted as my five-year old daughter proceeded to argue and complain for the 27th time that day. “Don’t make me ask you again!”
Warnings, threats, yelling, blah, blah, blah… Been there. Done that. I was exhausted, ashamed, and at my wits end. Is this how it’s going to be for the next 15 years? It was time to take action.
Anyone who knows me has learned that I run the other direction any time I hear the word “craft” or “DIY” (that’s Do-It-Yourself for those of you like me). Although I have a Pinterest account, I don’t have any pins. I even cringe when I hear the word “pinterest.” I would much rather purchase something pre-made than clumsily struggle through what I consider to be impossible. I don’t have the patience, the creativity, or the energy to immerse myself in the world of Mod Podge, pipe cleaners, and glue guns.
But late one night, I attempted to overcome homemade hang-ups. I knew we needed some organization and method to our discipline madness, but I wasn’t sure where to start. After logging in to Pinterest, and searching “chore chart,” “discipline ideas,” and “behavior modification,” my mind was overloaded with all the possibilities. I couldn’t see straight and my head was pounding.
I did manage to glean a couple of concepts from my lengthy Pinterest searches, but the best ideas came from a book called Creative Correction by Lisa Welchel. For those of us who spent a majority of our childhood in the eighties, you may remember Lisa Welchel as “Blair” from the sitcom Facts of Life. She is now an inspirational speaker and author with some great reads on raising kids, relationships, and other life lessons.
After reading several of the chapters in Creative Correction, I put together a plan of action which would hopefully eliminate some of the incessant arguing, relentless whining, and parental pleading, shouting, and irritability.
1.) For most discipline issues, I created a Job Jar and Correction Can. If a behavior warrants correction, I immediately send Violet to the Correction Can or Job Jar. She has to “choose” her penalty from the variety of punishments written on Popsicle sticks in each can. Some examples of those penalties are included in the pictures below. (For a comprehensive list of corrections and jobs, please comment on this post and I will e-mail them to you).
2.) For a reward system to incorporate recognizing good behavior, I have implemented a sticker chart and a “PRIVILEGES!” can. Violet LOVES stickers, but stickers won’t necessarily work with every child. Viol et can receive a sticker if she demonstrates a positive behavior – not arguing, saying “OK” when asked to do something, sharing, being kind, doing chores without being asked, etc. When Violet has accumulated 20 stickers, she can choose a Popsicle stick from the can labeled “PRIVILEGES!” The rewards can range from playing computer games to spending a weekend with grandparents (For a comprehensive list of privileges, please comment on this post and I will e-mail them to you).
- Stickers are not given for every good behavior.
- Mom and Dad will decide when to give a sticker.
- Violet will not receive a sticker if she asks for one.
3.) Last but not least, I decided to begin using a chore chart. Every morning, Violet has to complete her chores before doing anything else – watching T.V., playing with her brother, going outside – you get the picture. If she doesn’t complete all her chores (or complete them to the best of her ability), she receives a penalty (i.e. correction can). I hung everything outside Violet’s room and incorporated a magnetic dry erase board to store stickers and dry erase markers or to write positive messages. Each chart is laminated for easy removal of stickers and markings.
Now that we have a system in place, the hard part begins: sticking with it! As a mom, I’m busy with so many different tasks throughout the day; sometimes it’s easier to do things myself or just “let it go” for the sake of peace in the household. But I also realize those two attitudes will never help to produce good behavior/attitudes within my children. Intentional training every day takes a lot of work, but it’s worth it!
If the thought of laminating, cutting, gluing, and spending more than five minutes in Hobby Lobby make your palms sweat and your stomach churn, there are tons of behavior/chore charts available for purchase. Doorposts is a great website geared toward building spiritual qualities and values in your kids. I just purchased these charts online and can’t wait to start using them!
If you prefer not to incorporate a religious aspect into your behavior modification, there are lots of other options to choose from. Melissa & Doug have several cute behavior/chore/responsibility charts available to purchase. There are also many free printable charts online.
This is a new experience for me. I have no idea if this is going to work or not. I sure hope so, considering the amount of time I put into it! I would love to hear from some of you – what reward systems or behavior modification plans have you put into place in your home? What works and what doesn’t? PLEASE SHARE! I know a sticker chart won’t work forever and I need a game plan for the future! Thanks in advance for your response!