Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tools, Rewards & Charts Part 2

I think it is essential to Teach our children there are rewards & consequences to every action.

"To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: 
or the forces of two bodies on each other 
are always equal and are directed in opposite directions."
~Newton's third law of motion 

An important part of strengthening our communities,
our homes, and our relationships,
is teaching our children to think for themselves.

In the beginning we provide a safe environment,
reinforced with Love.
We give them the ability to Fail
and to Learn from their mistakes.
When we make excuses, ignore, or
overly mother our children,
we inadvertently enable them to keep 
making their mistakes without consequence.
We end up setting them up for failure in the real world.

Don't get me wrong, we Love our children unconditionally!
Regardless, there is a difference
between Accepting WHO they are and WHAT they do.
Its really hard not to rush to their defense...
and isn't it easier to answer their every whim?

And I admit...
Sometimes doing the easy thing wins out...
like days when I am dumped into the status of a single parent,
either due to a divorce (with newborn twins!!!)
or due to a deployment....
( I can't believe how helpless I sometimes feel without my other half!!!)
Those days I don't feel bad at all about bribing my kids.

The dilemma of every parent & home educator :) Is choosing
to do what is best in the long run
doing what ever is easiest NOW.

Part 2: Rewards
There are several type of Rewards,
and while this is geared towards the application of children,
you can apply these principles for Personal rewards :)

Food for thought!
Daily Rewards:
I found that it is very effective to give daily acknowledgements
Sometimes it really is the little things that can make a big difference!
psst! No need to get too fancy!

The first thing is to Figure out you child's Love Language 
If its Affirmation - then your words and sincerity will be 
more valuable then any toy you buy them.

For Nicko its quality time - one on one time or time for himself.
The twins need an equal dose of Physical touch & Affirmation
(I find it works better if I use both at the same time - if I can)
Michiel - straight up Physical touch.
Another Good Book for understanding Personality Types
of BOTH the parents & children's
 is Parenting the Strong-Willed Child by Kevin Hinkley
It surprised me as being insightful & helpful.
(I am a firm believe of spare the rod spoil the child.
Its what I grew up with and it worked...
So I currently do spank my children when the situation calls for it,
but I found the chapter on Almost Painless discipline,
and to beware of what works....)
I received this as a gift and I am Very happy with its
faith based approach!
"I teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves"
~ Joseph Smith

Knowing their Love Language or Personality Type
can help you find meaningful rewards.
I find non-monetary rewards work best for me & for them....
For example, Nicko likes earning computer game time and 
going to bed later than his brothers or sisters.
Ayleene & Netanya are currently collecting Hello Kitty stickers,
and generally anything that indicates how awesome they are!
(They each have their own sticker book)
and Michiel ... Squishy hugs
( includes Mommy & Michiel time, swinging on the porch
 - I always let him tell me, and sometimes 
I am surprised at how simple his requests are! )

Make it fun! Make it personal!
Reward Board with magnets

Most importantly!
Make it something you can keep up with!
The MacDougal Family Blog
Paying for Chores
Custom Chore Chart
 I think the only one this currently applies to is Nicko.
He is about to turn 10.
He can grasp the concept of saving, giving, spending.

We recycle our laundry tubs!

Its easier to work with him on setting goals for his savings.
Most importantly, he does not get paid for all of his chores.
I believe there are some chores that should be done with out pay...
Like cleaning his room

or doing the dishes.
 This is one of his assigned chores,
which he trades in for computer time.
Michiel wants to help Nicko out!
and then there are chores that he is not assigned to.
Chores in which he has a choice,
and chores he and I have sat down and decided on
Like helping me with the Laundry
He puts a load in the wash - $0.10
He puts a load in the dryer - $0.10
He takes the clothes out of the dryer & sorts them for everyone - $0.25
He does not get paid for putting away his own clothes.
To help keep track of what he earms
I am use a play checkbook I found at the Dollar Tree.
You could probably pick one up from the bank as well!
I found this on Amazon

Checkbook Unit Exercise
Free Printable Checkbook Register
Free Printable Checkbook for Kids
Money Instructor's Lesson plans

Every home is different, 
and some chores will be more important than other ones.
and sometimes its not that important!
Here is a poem that was gifted to me by Grandma Lyman
No More Oatmeal Kisses

Weekly or Monthly Rewards:

What the Teacher Wants
An Awesome Reward tool is the punch card.
Easy to make and print out - or you can purchase a
20 day Reward charts from the Dollar Tree :)

Works great as a punch out or with Stickers!
You can use this as a daily achievement.
Or as a "Caught you Doing something Good" incentive.

If you are offering a trip to the movies,  a special treat, or toy,
I find that it also helps to pin or staple a picture of the
item to help keep younger children focused.

At one home I saw one of these 20 day charts used as their chore chart,
each day represented the amount that could be earned
(each sheet a different chore).

 One of our Favorite monthly Treats is going to the Car wash!
Currently we get the most thrills at The Car Wash Barn :)
~ Think Shark Tales ~

Treasure Chest
This tote, holds alot of treasures collected through out the year.

Mostly scores from the Dollar Tree or from the $1 racks at Target.
This includes the little toys that come with those Happy Meals,
ie My Little Pony & Strawberry Shortcake, or
VeggieTales CDs from Chick Fil A.
They can be used toys, hand me downs,
and even prepared crafts in a bag!

I'm also pretty flexible & allow Nicko to trade these rewards for more Game time as well.
Mostly I use this at the end of the week or at the end of the month.

The only problem I have is that it offers too many choices for the kids,
and as the clock starts ticking, my nerves start to twitch....

That is until I saw this lovely blog post by a High School friend.
Please visit The Homemaking Cottage !
She talks about the chore chart she came up with and her reward system.
I wanted to smack my forehead....
Because the basket is exactly what I do at vendor events...
Why didn't I think of using a smaller basket,
and refill it from time to time?
Shiloah! Your simply ingenious!

Another Good Rewards point system to check out is The Idea Room
and take a look at her Store & Point code system;


For a consequence to be effective, it must be recognized.
It is important to not be emotional (specifically angry or whiny)
when administrating a Consequence.
It is Okay to be or show empathy for your child's situation,
but not in a condescending manner. (Resist the sarcasm!)

So after you have decided what the consequences are,
you need to explain them, and you need to stick by them.
Because the fact is ....
Our kids will test those limits - to see if you really mean it.

I like to give my kids choices.
I also like to remind them of their choices.
Following Love & Logic advice,
I like to guide those choices by providing a couple of "solutions".

Look for natural consequences or 
Equal & opposites to the Rewards you are offering.
It can be as simple as not attending an activity planned for that day,
ie a trip to the park, or the library.
I have been known to with hold my children from activities
like ballet/jazz , cub scouts, guitar lessons
because I believe they are a privilege (something you earn)
and not a right. (which if you are paying for - you really have to fight with yourself 
over the "need" to be there or losing what the value of what you paid.... painful!!! )
A popular natural consequence that I see when using monetary rewards,
is that the child pays you for the chores they didn't finish,
or for the chores you did for them.
... I should point out that Honey Bear doesn't really like to give money,
so he liked that there was an opportunity to get it back :)

(A real place in New Mexico!!!) 
For example
One of my rules
is that no one gets to play outside (after dinner), watch a movie, 
or sit at the dinner table until their room is picked up.
The food goes on the table - We say a prayer together,
& then those who are not done go back to their rooms
until they are ready.  Its their choice.
They are also allowed to ask for help
and receive it - as long as they are making an effort to do their part.

On a couple of occasions Ayleene has said she was not hungry.
She did not want help and
She was very content to continue playing with her toys for some time.
I can also assure you she did not go to bed hungry.
After we happened upon the Awesome sticker books
its been really easy!

And Yes - I am not perfect.
On a couple of occasions, I have set them down at the table
and then sent them to bed without worrying about their rooms.
Some days it seems a little less important when my sanity is at stake...
Some days are like that!
Another example
If Nick did all of his paying chores, but none of the regular chores,
He doesn't get paid/ or earn computer time.

There have been a couple of days where he did choose not to do his chores....
Things piled up, I didn't do them
I also didn't yell at him.
He really missed the extra stuff he could do,
and usually he is making better choices within 24 - 48 hours.
*A note about Consequence *
From My personal experience using additional chores
AS a consequence ~  actually breeds insubordination.
The only time I have seen it "work" was as an adult in my military service.
Yes it can be a form of motivation... but what kind?
It provides embarrassment, incurs additional anger
now geared towards the person in authority,
motivated by anger not to repeat the act,
and if the person is mature enough... a humbling experience.
So I have to ask ~ what are we causing in our homes?
With children who have not mastered the art of maturity?
Do we need another source of a Power Struggle?
(Something I picked up from the Kevin Hinkley book!)
Thank you for hanging in there!
What are some of the systems or methods you have found effective?
What do you like to use your rewards systems for?

"Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one;
stronger than magician ever spoke,
or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration." 
~Charles Dickens

Tools, Rewards & Charts Part 1

Tools, Rewards & Charts Part 3

***   ***

Ready for another Giveaway?
(Don't forget to comment on  Part 1 the first one for the month)

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