We need a new system.
We need some kind of incentive program to get these kids functioning and developing instead of arguing and watching TV. Paul and I strategized during our 3 hour car trip back from grandma and grandpa’s house last night and here’s what we got.
Our kids are wonderfully imaginative, talkative and precocious. But sometimes at the end of the day I feel like all I ever did was tell them what to do, then get mad because they weren’t doing it! I’m not enjoying these days enough, so during our visit, I turned to my seasoned sisters-in-law who have collectively raised over 2 dozen kids. They suggested I take myself out of the bad-guy equation and implement a persuasive program with rewards and let the chart be the bad guy.
Paul and I hashed over ideas, problem areas and individual needs during our twilight drive and we’ve come up with “Family Bucks.” This will be a program where good behavior is rewarded with custom monopoly-esque money that can be spent on what they love: tv time–2 tickets, playing a computer game–2 tickets, baking cookies with mom–ten tickets, collectively if need be, lunch at Carl’s Junior (Luke calls the restaurant “Chicken Stars,”)–20 tickets collectively, an evening at the local indoor water park–10 tickets, a pizza night–20 tickets, ice skating, etc…even cash value–5 cents a buck. Everything has a price.
They will earn family bucks by doing simple things like doing homework without being reminded, Saturday chores, practicing the piano, KP duty, yard work, and what I call “okay and obey” (that’s when I ask a simple favor like, ‘help bring in the groceries’ and instead of whining, they say ‘okay mom!’ and do it immediately.) On top of that, Paul and I can award bonuses on Sunday nights during family council at our discretion for things like “above and beyond the call of duty” and glowing positive attitudes.
All bucks will be stashed in labeled mason jars in the kitchen. We are hoping this will work. We just have to keep the program alive and not let it fizzle out like so many other tactics we’ve tried. That’s half the reason I’m telling you all about it–to keep us accountable!! Our goal is to talk about it at dinner each night and really following through with the rewards.
So wish us luck. Here’s to raising positive, productive members of society! Now I’ve got to design the bucks on the computer before their TV show ends.
All systems go!