Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Our boys would fuss about school. In their bedroom. Perhaps as they rode the bus into school. But they were relieved that Mom didn't glue their favorite blankets to their bus passes and their Xbox stayed where it belonged.

Yet as much as some things were improving in our home, (which seems like months, when only it's been 2weeks, 9 days of education) I just knew that things in school were not improving.

And that's when we realized, BigDog and I, that we were going about this all.the.wrong.way.
Because that's what parents do.We screw up.In doing so, we screw up our kids by manipulating them into thinking that we would actually make them bring their blankets to the bus stop, parade them around all the kids in line, while making them sing the song that I taught them; (think Elmo's world song) "LA LA LAH LAH, LA LA LAH LAH, Meet my blankieeeeeeeeeeeee. HE is my friend, until the end. MYYY blankie. He is what I need, so, I will not cryiiiiiiiii. My blankie, I still suck my thumb, blankie, I'mmmmm not a baby world!!!"

Although I will honestly say, that with this form of shall we say, shock therapy, works with our 2 older son's personalities, we needed some positive reinforcement as well.

All we had to do was think of what they love the most.
What they would work the hardest for.
What they are no longer permitted to do, since school started.

From that point on out came the charts.
Charting their required daily necessaries, their weekly chores in addition to the standard "make your bed, put your clothes away," the stars and stickers on good behavior days. Done simply.

We call her "the Behavior Lady." Each section of her from Hat to her silly boots are a certain color. Each color represents a zone of where they need to be. The higher you go, the better decisions you're making. You get in the green zone, you're going to set yourself back a couple days.

It's working because they get a kick out of selling each other out when one of them gets near her "stinky yucky black socks."

If they can consistently remain above the "green zone," then they will be rewarded.

The reward if they can achieve it, will be 30minutes of video games.

This, my friends, is called the Labor Of Love.


Palm Springs Savant said...

I've always felt that a bit of structure and rules are important!

Moohaa said...

That's tough stuff to incorporate but if you can keep at it, it will pay off in the end. Charts never worked for me and I wish they would have.. it would have made things much easier.

The good thing about being parents who screw up - is that some of us can admit it! Then we can take honest steps to fix what is going wrong and our kids will turn out so much better for it in the end.