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In an attempt…

February 22, 2010

…to instill a sense of hard work, we are keeping these little ones busy. Very busy.

In an effort to lay it all out in an organized, tangible fashion, we have created a chart with a daily checklist: the morning Big 5 (eat breakfast, get dressed, say prayers, brush teeth, make bed), homework, piano practice, dinner help, post-dinner cleanup, evening Big 5. For all of this, the kids earn points!

Points can be redeemed for a milkshake, small toy, or an outing out with Mom and Dad. Bonus points are earned through good behavior, good attitude, and quick obedience. (The magical triumvirate around here.)

In an effort to get this sweet(s) boy to eat more than bubble gum and cough drops, we’ve had some long talks about healthy choices vs. tiny treats. He gets added bonus points for eating anything off his “healthy choices” chart. (Which does not include, unfortunately, the above Nutella-and-walnut pie.)

In an attempt to get back to the basics, we have implemented a Value of the Week that we focus on at dinner. Last week was Kindness, this week is Love. We get to report each evening on our acts of love.

Do you ever arrive at a point when you realize the entire family needs a major overhaul, a recentering/refocusing of sorts?  Yep, that’s where we’re at! When I told my mom about our new method last night, we laughed together, remembering the dozens of various charts and incentives used to try and motivate us kids.Tweaking, refining, retooling, adjusting: ah, parenting at its best.

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9 Comments
  1. February 22, 2010 7:38 am

    I totally love the weekly theme idea. We should get together and compare notes. I have had lots and lots of ideas to keep things running smoothly (chores etc) but only a few have worked well and some that have grown up with us the past 5 years or so that are keepers. I love that tradition though. Awesome!.

  2. Dallin permalink
    February 22, 2010 7:57 am

    Wow, go Tiffany! Great ideas.
    -Janelle

  3. Amber permalink
    February 22, 2010 9:38 am

    Such a great idea. I love the idea of a weekly theme.

    When I was traveling last I told Sylvie that she was “in charge” of vegetables – meaning that she had to remind everyone to eat them at meals and pack them for lunches. Of course she is the worst offender on this front, but being responsible for the family made her think about it a lot more. I still here her reminding Tessa to pack veggies in her lunch 🙂

    • February 22, 2010 10:41 am

      Amber: Such a great idea to put them in charge. We use that particular tactic around here as well. My sweet little obedience police and happiness police were chosen for a reason.

  4. Loni permalink
    February 22, 2010 11:41 am

    Tiffany, such great, great ideas. You are giving your sons such a head start for LIFE in the real world. You are amazing.

  5. Alice-Anne permalink
    February 22, 2010 11:49 am

    all great ideas! Good luck with the motivation battle! 🙂

  6. Meredith permalink
    February 22, 2010 12:02 pm

    Great ideas! I remember my mom doing a similar thing. But we do it because who wouldn’t want a milkshake or date night with mom or day, OR….in Addison’s case a new lego (under $20 that is 🙂
    I love all your ideas, keep them coming!

  7. Erika permalink
    February 22, 2010 1:56 pm

    How fun! We always tend to get in a rut and need some fresh ideas to re-motivate the troops! We did something similar this summer with earning buttons and turning them in for rewards. Good luck!

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