Thursday, January 03, 2013

Kids' Chores: Focusing on the Positive!

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!


Raisin4Cookies said...

I love this! It sounds like a lot of work and thought in setting it up, though?

Man, I'm so stinkin' lazy. :D

But yes, I would be interested in learning more, or sent to the place where I could learn more.

Amber said...

Your kids are cute. Calm and kind would be so great; why does my brain scoff at even attempting that goal? It's because of my son Keller. That boy.... About all I can manage with him is a motto like, "Don't strangle anyone." He's almost 4--please grow out of this!

mandy said...

We do something very similar to this! Do you remember the back side of my pantry door. Each child has a couple of things that they are working on each day. For example praticing their violin without a fight and doing homework willing. When they do the amount that they were approved for like 5 days in a row. we start off small. one day for reward and then slowly build it up. they get a reward. This one is rewards like 15 extra mintues to stay up. going on errands with just mom. going for a bike ride with just mom or dad. PIcking supper that night. then the chores have detail lists on them for example the living room: pick up toys, dust, tidy couch cushions, vacuum, and then double check everything before mom and dad check it off. they are awarded points based off of their job completion!! In my prize bin i have prizes that are worth 25points 50 points 75 points 100 points and then bigger prizes that are worth 500 points. So it teaches them to save. Oh we also have $jobs that they can do to earn extra money only (this is like their allowance) They do jobs because they live in our house!! This system has been awesome!!!! Good luck on yours
Love Mandy From Canada

Rachel and Nathan Fisher said...

We've done a similar points system for the past 3 years and we LOVE it. Good luck!!

danette said...

I am so sorry for your sweet friend who just had a miscarriage. My heart breaks for her too. (I don't know who she is but I can feel somewhat of what she is going through.)

I myself found out on the 2nd of January that I too was having a miscarriage.

It hurts.

Cheryl said...

Danette, I'm so sorry. Truly, I am. :( My heart is with you.