Encouraging Responsibility

It’s been a while since I posted about behaviors in this house. My little Rooster and his tantrums have definitely diminished in the last 4-5 months. We still have our days, but it has been nothing like last Fall. I am still praying something magical happens when he turns 5! šŸ™‚

We are not doing kindergarten this year, but he is going to a fairly intensive 5 morning a week preschool program for those kids held out of kindergarten. My husband and I have had many talks about really wanting to move towards giving him an allowance or something like that, but with little expendable income for an allowance it seems unlikely that will happen. So, while Little Rooster was camping this week with the grandparents I came up with this new system. After much discussion with hubbie over why the others have failed, we really feel positive about this one. We stopped the “Going God’s Way” road after about 6-8 months because it really did lose it’s effectiveness and his behavior was getting much more reasonable. And honestly, we were really losing our discipline with the marble jar.

So, here’s how the new chart works. He has 6 responsibilities each day: make his bed, have good manners at dinner, clean up his room before bed, an extra help, have a good rest time and empty the dishwasher. For each responsibility he completes he gets a smiley face. For each time out he has to serve, a smiley face is crossed out. We are going to create a treasure box filled with an assortment of items from little candies up to one rather large $15 toy. He uses his smiley faces to get something from the treasure box. The smallest item is candy for 4 smilies, which seemed a very easy number for him to achieve, and 50 for the large toy; something he could achieve by saving up most of the month, but still leaving room to “buy” something every now and then.

The other new thing is rest time. He is getting to the age where he doesn’t really need a nap every day, but needs that time alone (as do I!). So, we came up with this idea. Currently, he can bring a few small toys to bed, but has to stay in his bed from 1 until 3. (90% of the time he really does fall asleep!) One thing I’ve really been needing to encourage more was independent “reading” time. So, starting with the new system, he can bring as many books to bed as he wants, but no toys. He has to read and lay down from 1 until 2. At 2:00, if he is still awake, he can get out of his bed and play quietly until 3. This correlates to the responsibility chart in the fact that if I have to go into his room OR he comes out of his room, then he doesn’t earn the smiley face for rest time.

So, there you have it. Here’s hoping we have the discipline to stick with this and it all works successfully! Of all the “systems” we’ve come up with in the last few years, I probably feel the most positive about this.

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  1. We have been doing the same thing (more or less) all summer. I find my kids LOVE haveing a chart to follow, and chores to do.
    And Rest hour. My kids are older then you and we still have rest hour every day. I don’t know how you make it through the day with out rest hour. They don’t have to sleep , but in your room by your self , door closed, every day for an hour. It must be done!

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