They were right when they said there is no manual to raise a child. Trying to figure out the right discipline and punishment for each child is a challenge, a learning process. It's exhausting. My brain is fried and I just want a glass of wine, or two or three to chill. I laugh at that, because there isn't enough time in a night to open a bottle.
Have I mentioned that I'm exhausted? Ha! I needed a manual, kind of like when I wanted a full tutorial how to decorate my Christmas tree. A step by step instruction booklet that would help me and hubby through the child rearing process. We all know there is no booklet, so I thought about it and knew I needed an attitude adjustment. I needed something that could show me how to talk to my kids without getting so frustrated every time.
I found a book, well actually, I knew of this book for a while and I know most of you have heard of the book. In fact it's not only a book, but a parenting workshop in some locations. I opted for the book at this time. The book, you ask? How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk.
It has amazed me how simple their suggestions are, yet how difficult it is to apply. For example, instead of me saying, "Sidney go hang up your coat, this is the THIRD time I've asked you!" I can just say, "Coats belong on hooks." or "Coats!" or I can leave a nice note saying 'coats belong on hooks - <3 Mom'
I was shocked the first time I used the sentence: "Coats belong on hooks." Sidney walked right into the mudroom and hung her coat up without any protest. I thought, wow this is a piece of cake.
That same night I told Sawyer, "iPods belong at the iPod station so they can be charged." I could have said, "Sawyer, why can't you take care of your iPod? It's going to get lost or broken when you leave it laying on the ground. Be more responsible!" The second phrase I'm sure he would've given me some whiny response.
Instead, after telling him where the iPod belongs, he did nothing, and I was fine with that because I had another approach. That night I left a note on his iPod that said, "iPods belong at the iPod station so they can charge. <3 Mom." Miraculously the iPod made it's way to the iPod charging station. Wow!
I'm not even done with chapter two, but these are small steps toward a happier home and a happier mom. I even caught Josh saying, "clothes belong in the hamper." LOVE IT!
Lately the kids have been begging for new iPod cases. I'm the kind of parent that thinks they don't get a new iPod case just because they want one. They should earn it.
This is how we discovered a chore chart. We searched all different apps and finally chose Chore Pad HD. We downloaded the free version, tested it out, decided we liked it, and purchased the full version for $4.99. So far, it's worth every penny!
We sat down as a family and had the kids come up with chores they thought they were able to do such as, take out the trash, make beds, clean rooms, vacuum kitchen. Hubby and I explained to them the things we wanted them to do; brush teeth 2x a day, clean cubbies in laundry room, clothes in hampers, etc. It was great working together so they have more invested interest.
We even included Kennady, our four-year-old. She doesn't have many chores yet, but it's a start.
We also discussed payment. Josh and I thought $2.00/child/week and they wanted $7.00/child/week. We compromised at $3.50/child/week. On the Chore Chart app we assigned $0.10 per star, so actually they can earn a little more than the $3.50/week. We will pay them Sunday nights and they have to save 50% of their earnings.
We are only on the second day and I am completely impressed. I saw how mad Sidney got when Sawyer started messing up the laundry room that she just cleaned that afternoon. As most new things, the excitement will probably come to an end. For now, the house is clean and I'm not yelling. Time to open a bottle of wine.
How are you keeping the house clean? Do you use a chore chart?