First day back to school. New "activity" system in place for the kids. (I'm trying to nix the word "chore" a little bit. Seems to make the kids involuntarily vomit a little). I'm working on my new life-system, too. Purged and cleaned the basement. Upstairs is next.
It's going good!
[Except for the freezing pipes (probably due to the power outage the night before last) and the overflowing shower (downstairs) and the overflowing washing machine. Whoo. So much fun.]
My sweet friend had a miscarriage last night. My heart is breaking for her and her husband.
Baby still won't sleep all night (please don't tell me how to fix this; I already know), so I changed my prayers. Instead of "Please make the baby sleep!" it's "Please give me the energy to endure these restless nights." It's working!
Pre-emptive strike: I've decided to just let you know about our new "activity" system. I'll save what I'm doing (my big changes) for another post.
I was inspired by a group I've just joined where we count points for every positive thing we do. "Focusing on positives, eh?" I thought. "Who'd-a-thunk?!" I printed off a list of daily activities the kids need to do each day. I did include a list of bathroom, kitchen, and help-the-family chores, too. Every time they do an activity, they get a point. If they do EVERYTHING they have to do in a day, they will get 23 points (unless they do extra chores under the "extra chores" list). Once they accumulate 138 points (6 days' worth), they can pick something out of our family treasure box. I'm going to put things in it like matchbox cars, nail polish, date certificates (so they can go mini golfing with dad or whatever), pens, erasers, small activity books, etc.
*the point only counts on that day. There are no "make-up" points.
*mom has to double-check to make sure it was accomplished before points are added (I have already psyched myself up for this job)
*it doesn't have to be done by a certain time --just done in a reasonable way. For example, the kids can earn 2 points a day for brushing their teeth. Brushing twice at night doesn't count. ;)
This isn't a full list, but what they do each day includes: arriving to family scripture study on time and participate willingly, make bed, say personal prayers, practice piano, do homework, hang up clothes, tidy bedroom floor, do dishes chore, etc. Everything gets a point!
I'm really excited about this system and so are the kids. I'm sure some will get tired of it all, but the system is great because many could earn their 138 quickly by doing extra chores (which includes doing anonymous acts of service, washing walls, or shoveling snow), or they could slack off and not get their points soon enough. I was worried about how that would play out --what if the kids simply stop caring and just don't do it? I decided to risk it. In fact, at the top of our activity list is this:
OUR GOAL: To create good habits that will make our lives happier, more organized, and allow us more time to have fun! (and so mom won't yell anymore!)
Focus on the positive. My mantra now, after all, is "calm and kind," eh? Calm and Kind. Positive. Gratitude. Happiness. Upward and Onward!