Tips and tricks for making parenting FUN again!

Tips and tricks for making parenting FUN again!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Family Game

We were having some pretty serious issues with sibling rivalry in our home, and a general lack of love and respect between our kids, so I decided to try something new.

For Family Home Evening one night, I made up a game. I taped together two pieces of card stock paper to make a large rectangle. On the rectangle I drew a game board, much like Candy Land, with a path starting in the upper left corner winding its way down to the lower right. At the upper right corner I drew a picture of our house for the start, then at the lower right-hand corner I drew a picture of our favorite frozen yogurt shop as the finish. I divided the path up with lines, making a series of spaces leading from the start to the finish.

Next, I made a single game piece. It was a small rectangle of card stock with a simple stick figure drawing of our family on it.

I then created cards with things like, "You don't clean your room when Mom asks you to. Move back one space." Or, "You helped your little sister put on her shoes. Move forward one space." I made several of these cards.

So then for Family Home Evening I talked briefly with the kids about why it is important for us to work together as a family so our home can be a happy place. I told them that when any one of us does something that is mean or uncooperative, it hurts our whole family. To demonstrate, I had each family member take a turn choosing a card and moving the game piece. The kids were slightly chagrined to recognize several of their common misbehaviors among the statements on the cards.
After we had been through the stack of cards, I pointed out that when we do more bad than good, we don't get very far and our home is not a very happy place to be. I then told them that we would play the game for real in our house. I posted the game board on the wall, and I put some tape on the back of the game piece.

Now, whenever someone does something positive, they are allowed to move the game piece ahead. When something negative happens, they move it back. I have noticed that even when one child is wronged by another, they will find a way to make amends so that we will not have to move the game piece back. They are also going out of their way to do kind things for one another so that they get to move us ahead. Once our game piece reaches the finish, we will celebrate with a trip to our favorite frozen yogurt shop. :-)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lost & Found

At our house I get SO tired of constantly having to holler at the kids to come pick up their stuff out of the kitchen/living room/hallway/bathroom, etc. And so I created a Lost & Found box.

Here's how it works:

- I warn the kids that in 5-10 minutes I will be collecting for the Lost & Found box. This gives them an opportunity to grab their stuff and put it away.

- Once time is up, anything that belongs to them that is not where it should be gets tossed in the box. Makes for an easy cleanup!

- Once an item is in the box, Mom or Dad are the only ones who can take it out of the box (or a child with Mom or Dad's permission).

- In order to get something out of the box, the child must do a chore (specified by Mom or Dad) such as sweeping the kitchen, wiping down the bathroom counter, cleaning up a particular space, etc.

- At the end of the week, anything that has not been earned back gets tossed or taken to Goodwill.

So far this has been working marvelously for our family! They are more careful about leaving their things out, and if they do leave something out then I can clean it up by simply tossing it in the box. Then I get lots of help with the chores so they can earn their items back, and we declutter because anything that's not important enough to warrant a chore means it's not important enough to be in our home. :-)