I didn’t fall off the face of the planet

But it has been an adjustment the past few weeks. H started her new job, which gave us a whole schedule that we haven’t been used to since before the kids were born. She’s been working Tues-Sat on swing shift, and so we’ve adjusted to me being the primary cook, and the change in timing of chores and shift in childcare responsibilities. Then H got sick, and then sick again, and well, the blog kept falling to the bottom of the list of things to get to. Even tonight I’m posting in the last half hour before H gets home after a particularly challenging evening with the kids.

We’re working on transitioning to a reward chart for behavior for the kids and it’s an interesting challenge to ride the line between rewarding good behavior and punishing bad by withholding the reward. It’s a struggle with two at the same developmental stage because if one gets rewarded while the other doesn’t it causes a huge meltdown. So trying to figure out the best balance and how to handle that is hard. Do I not reward one in front of the other to avoid meltdown from the one not getting rewarded when the intent is to see that good behavior is rewarded?

So we’re still here. Just flying under the radar a bit. What’s new with you?


3 thoughts on “I didn’t fall off the face of the planet

  1. If you want to do a chart system you can use one kind of like the one I used in my classroom. Each child had a pocket (I used a pocket chart but you could literally make pockets from paper and put them on poster-board). There are 4 cards in each pocket. 3 colored and one white, the white one goes on top each morning to be the one seen. Make sure both pockets cards are in the same color order. I used something like blue, green and red. (or hot pink). At the start of each day white is on top, if you have to talk to them to the point of what would be discipline they “turn a card” or put the white one to the back so blue is showing. Discipline again= “turn a card” to the next one showing so blue is now behind the white again and so on. If you get all the way to pink you need to have a massive punishment lined up. In school it was a note or phone call home to parents. For you it could mean no dessert or if they are not ready for something that abstract and far away take something away immediately effecting them. Put your new library books up for the next half hour (set a timer), …whatever…it just needs to effect them and you would know more than I would and it can be totally different per kid. OK, IF they have a great day and you didn’t need to reprimand to the point of turning a card then they get a small stamp or smily drawn onto the front. When they reach 5 smilies they get to go and pick something out of your treasure box. (this can be total crap toys from the dollar store, mcDonalds…you get the point). Then you start over by either flipping the card over so it is completely white again or getting a new one. I used colored index cards. The thing that many parents forget to do is to write out a couple of very important rules to follow so THEY can remember and own them. I had 4 for my classroom that my students never realized actually covered anything they could do wrong. hehe 1. Be Nice 2. Be Safe 3. Be Neat 4. Have FUN! EVERYDAY starts out with the white card on top no matter how rough the day before was. Everyone gets to start their days fresh! DO enforce this in front of the other child, it is not about hurting someone else’s feelings and them being mad they didn’t get a smiley. They will QUICKLY figure out that they need to earn their own smilies and sometimes that child will get it and the other won’t. The first few days they will test you and test you, you will flip like crazy and if you need to put 5 colored cards in there to start just so they can get the point without actually reaching the horrid punishment in five seconds, then do that. BUT after a week or so sit them down and tell them “you have both been so wonderful and followed directions so well the last few days that mommy doesn’t think you NEED all of these colored cards in here.” Let’s take them out and throw them away. “Now look, there are only 3 colored cards…what does that mean?” Simply state what that means…less chances before the pink card…

    If they reach the pink card and it is only 7 am then you follow through with their personal pink card punishment (this can change day to day just make sure and tell them what it is that morning) and put their cards back in order with blue on top. They don’t go back to white as they have already lost their chance at a smiley that day. This will usually massively bum them out but you need to just let them know that once they have turned a card, they dont’ get a smiley today BUT it will be back to white tomorrow for another chance. “Let’s see if we can keep it on blue for the rest of the day” DO NOT reward for staying on blue. Their reward is that they aren’t on pink 😉 DO NOT take away something they have already earned. EVER! It has been earned…end of story.

    Sorry this is ridiculously long, I don’t know how else to explain it since there are layers to this. hahaha The plus side to this system is it can travel with you and the rewards and punishments are all in one! You can make it smaller with half cards instead so it is easy to stick in a bag and bring along places. You know where to find me if I just confused the crap out of you. hahahahaha

    • Lori – that reminds me of the “pull a strip” system we had when I was in school. 5 strips (for the week mind you) and if you got to the red one you were in big trouble. I remember it being very intimidating.

      We might go this route – our goal was a reward chart as opposed to a punishment one, but we are definitely struggling to find the balance between the two…

  2. Keep in mind that this IS a reward chart mixed with the visual reminders of how many times they are not listening to help them really see it. You can do a reward every time they earn a smiley if you want it to be more instant. Only doing a reward chart starts to backfire if there is one or the other you are having to talk to A LOT and they keep losing their reward without being able to really understand where it went y’know? This helps them see it and take ownership of their own choices. Not that it is by any means the only thing that would work. hahahaha Only child syndrome here. 😉

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