I was a special education teacher for nearly 10 years. One thing that was constantly remarked to me was that I never gave up trying something for something better. If something wasn’t working, I modified it or scrapped it and tried something else. That tenaciousness has carried over into my parenting and home life. I’m constantly drafting and changing all sorts of things in our house. (which drives my husband crazy) Sometimes it’s because it’s not working, sometimes it’s boredom and sometimes it’s because I saw something that might work better.
I came up with this if/then chart a while ago and I’ve tweaked it many times since. Lately some things have happened in our home that have made us realize that this chart really wasn’t working for us and we were going to need to radically change some of the consequences. We’ve really figured out what consequences were working with our children, what were exacerbating the situation and not helping and what areas we really needed to focus on. The primary consequence that works with both our children is a removal from the situation. They both just need that time to collect themselves before they can listen and enter back into family life. My husband and I also just needed help with being on the same page. I came up with some key phrases (maybe like our family mottos?) and verses that would match. (these verses come from Desiring God’s children’s memory verse system we’ve been working through). So here is our updated version:
The next big thing I worked on was our new responsibility/contribution system. It will be a few weeks before we get it hung up and all the kinks worked out, but here is a broad picture of it:
Like I mentioned before, I used the idea from here and tweaked it for our family. We basically divided home stuff into two categories: responsibilities (you do these because you are a member of this family with no “reward”) and contributions (these are things you can earn money for).
Every day they see their chart:
There might be extra responsibility things that I add daily and for the contributions there might be specific things they need to do that day (mow the yard) or it might say “pick 2” and they get to choose.
When they choose, they are choosing from this list of contributions:
As they finish a contribution, they put it on their cookie sheet. At the end of the day, they add up how much money they earned and put it on their time sheet. On Sundays, they are paid their commission for the week.
Hopefully by next Sunday (their first payday) I will have 3 change purses for each. One for saving, one for giving and one for spending. For my son, who is almost 9, he will be working towards his first savings account deposit. When he saves enough to open his account, he will start putting all his save money in the bank towards a car when he turns 16. For my daughter, who is 5, we are going to decide on one large item that she is saving for. She desperately needs to learn that in order to get something big, you have to wait for it. (patience is not her strong suit!)
The other thing on their cookie sheets are their technology cards. Each Sunday they get a new card with 10 punches equally 45 minutes of plugged in time. When the card is punched out, they are done for the week. No new card until Sunday.
Like I said, we just unveiled the system today, so this week is going to be a trial and error. They’ve known about the tech cards for a while so they thought it was kind of fun. They probably won’t be laughing come Thursday when they are punched out! 🙂 But I won’t be either!