After reading this post by the Nester, I was curious about which things I had put out there in cyber-world were getting pinned and I came across this post about our family’s if/then chart. I realized that this was our first attempt at this sort of behavior chart in our house and we have modified it since then and I never really posted an updated version. Here is our current version:
We ended up modifying the first one for a few reasons: 1) it was really too long, 2) the consequences really weren’t fitting or working and 3) I realized I didn’t like the negative sort of tone it was taking. I had been reading a few parenting books at the time about making a family motto or family rules and realized I wanted to be able to tell my children how we act, not how not to act. Hence, we changed things like “whining and complaining” to the phrase “we are thankful and content.” When my daughter (who is mainly the culprit) is whining and complaining I can stop myself from looking at her and saying “we don’t whine and complain” and instead ask her “are you being thankful and content?” Defiance and Disobedience became “are you doing what is asked of you?” and so on. As my children are growing up, we are honestly having to change our consequences too. Taking away privileges is something that we are starting to do more than step time (aka….time out) and we are also seriously reducing the things we spank for (but that’s a topic for another day).
One thing we are still doing is the service ring. This is a ring of tasks, such as wiping down the baseboards, cabinets, cleaning up your siblings stair box (the box of stuff that belongs in their room’s upstairs), running laps around the house etc. that correlates to the day of the month. So, today if they had a consequence from the service ring they would look at the one marked number 31 and then do it.
We are still using our chore pad chart that we have on the iPad and still love it. We have tied some of our consequences into this also. If there is a chore they are responsible for it on the chart and they are reminded to do it and still don’t, they obviously don’t earn the stars for it and also lose however many stars they were supposed to earn for the job to begin with. You are reminded once and game over. Car travel has become a massive issue in our house currently so we are in the process of figuring out how to tie that to the chore pad also.
One of the biggest incentives in our house lately is extra time on the Wii or t.v. during the week. They can earn up to thirty extra minutes a day (they are given a free thirty minutes) but it takes either thirty minutes of homework, reading time or ten stars from the chore pad in order to get that. When it comes to whining and complaining about plugged in time, this has been a huge help…”give me some stars!” is the refrain in our house.
I am thinking about offering a copy of our if/then chart, customized for you, in the etsy shop after it reopens in the coming weeks for around $5-8 for a custom pdf. Stay tuned! Leave a comment if you think you might be interested and I’ll email you when I reopen the shop or you can click on my etsy shop and they will remind you when it reopens also.
Parenting is such an evolving sort of thing. I am learning as a mother (just I did in the classroom) that parenting changes and evolves. As my children grow up, different behaviors emerge and disappear and I have to be ready to modify my consequences and expectations as they grow. I am realizing that we are moving into a whole different dimension of parenting as my children are now five and eight. What worked with them when they were toddlers and preschoolers just isn’t going to work now…even though my expectations are still the same for them. This year I want to be a more positive and encouraging mother. I am so quick to harp on them and slap my consequences on them and I want to be more grace-filled and generous. Not in a spoiling sort of way, but in the same way that the Lord is so generous with His grace with me and my stupid decisions. Here’s to 2012!!