Friday, March 13, 2015

mama bird: good, chore, punishment

 
Our kids are good kids. They are kind hearted and caring and they do their best to make the world a better place. But they are also kids, so they are sometimes naughty. They are not bad, they are naughty. Henry likes to be the class clown in school, despite the teacher's lessons, and Eva likes to always get the last word (or the last stomp out of the room if words escape her). So we need discipline.
 
But if there's one thing I have learned about discipline, it's that the same punishment over and over eventually becomes ineffective. Our kids are immune to being punished by taking things away from them. They are not huge toy players, so we never really had anything we could take away. Last Christmas, grandma and grandpa bought them iPads, and for a few months, we could take away increments of time they were allowed on them. That was effective for a while, but eventually they both realized they could still read a book even if they didn't have an iPad. And I'm not about to punish them by taking away books!
So, we came up with the chore, punishment, and good jars. Here's how it works. At the parents' discretion, we can tell them to choose between the chore and punishment jar when they are naughty. They at least have that choice. In each jar is one chore (e.g., wash the kitchen counters or clean the bathroom) and one punishment (e.g., write "I will start behaving and stop being naughty" 20 times, stand in the corner for 10 minutes). There is also one "Mercy" card in each jar....sometimes they get lucky.
 
The good jar is also used at our discretion. Because when you're going to punish children for being naughty, you also have to reward them for being good. So after a really great school day, they might get to pick one of those for an extra dessert or an extra half hour of staying up at night.
 
We started it the week of a full moon (yes, I am 100% sure my kids are more naughty during a full moon), and on the first day of the process, I didn't have to clean at all. The kids cleaned the walls, did laundry, cleaned the front hall, and scrubbed the bathroom top to bottom. That was just day 1.
 
But then it started getting better. They have regular chores, and really didn't like these extra ones to add to the list. So they have started behaving just a little bit better. And if we are to judge how good our kids are based on how clean our house is, I guess I'd have to say they are pretty good these days.
 
I'd take behaving kids over a clean house any day of the week.
xo,
megan bird
 

12 comments:

  1. Wish I'd thought of that when the kidling was younger! Absolutely brilliant.

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  2. Raising children is hard work. I admire your creativity. Given how well your kids are turning out, you're obviously doing the right things.

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  3. Love this! Although I'll also say that I don't mind taking away books as a punishment. My kids LOVE books, and I feel like taking them away reenforces the idea that books are a positive thing. But then we read lots of extras the next day to make up for the loss. :)

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  4. I love this idea! I don't know yet how we'll handle the punishment thing, but I love the idea of making them do a chore! I like that you reward good behavior too though, that's just as important to recognize!

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  5. I. Love. This. So so much! Using this idea. I think you're so right about the idea of if you're punishing, then also reward the good. Doesn't have to be all the time, but important. Also, the concept of "mercy" is so important...I admire your creativity & parenting style!

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  6. There is so much I have to learn before I ever become a parent! I love the idea of both punishment and reward because it is so true!

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  7. That is a super idea!!! You are a clever lady!!!x

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  8. love this idea! here's to a dirty house! ;)

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  9. like you post and learn more information about the birds. If custom scholarship essays writing is amazing site for you college papers making

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  10. This is a great idea! Mine are getting sassy these days (London is 9 freaking years old omg and Logan just won't do chores unless I force him.)
    -Ash
    www.stylizedwannabe.blogspot.com

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  11. This is such a good idea! I like that they get to pick a chore or punishment, and that there's a reward jar too!

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  12. what a great idea- i swear i'm always wanting to remember your posts for the future. i need a pinboard just megan+nora parenting advice :)

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