To say that I am a shouter is an understatement. I tend to yell, shout and scream at my kids for what feels like ALL DAY! I take consolation in the fact that there are hundreds of those meme cards out there where mom’s try to explain how frustrating it is communicating with them – and by them, I mean children, our offspring, our flesh and blood, the reason we breathe, but more often the reason we are broke and drink!
Insert Parenting Meme!
Anyway … moving on. Last week I was consoled on two consecutive seperate days by both my children’s teachers. Monday was bad, but Tuesday was worse. My eldest and I had a huge falling out about the fact that her sleeves were twisted (wtf?), and she now hated the brand new trainers she chose the week before. When I dropped her at school, it was about 6 degrees C, she was crying, her hair hadn’t been brushed and she was refusing to do her jacket up (but she did have the trainers on!). I had no make-up on and was also crying behind my sunglasses. The youngest child was so happy to be free of the pair of us that she ran to her class before I could even get to the gate! Poor kid. I was getting looks from a number of ‘perfect parents’ as if to say – “what a terrible mother” or “look at the state of her”. The looks that really do help and make life more bareable – NOT!
Implement The Plan: A Rewards Chart
When I got home from fetching them at lunch-time and being consoled by the eldest’s teacher, I decided to give this reward chart thing another go. I had tried it last year but abandoned it as I felt they were still a bit too young to grasp that it was a two-way street. They didn’t just get a reward because the chart was complete, they actually had to behave!
Being a bit of a DIY (ok, I don’t like paying for stuff I can make myself on the computer), I created one that I could personalise to suit me and what I needed from them, to address the areas I felt they needed to improve. I sat them down and explained it to them, and they were very enthusiastic about it.
I decided that instead of gold stars or something like that, I would simply give them either a happy face or a sad face, and since they are naturally competitive (ie – like to best each other at every turn) I set up one chart for both of them so they can see who does better as a way of motivating them to try harder.
I’m very proud to report that after getting 3/7 on Tuesday, we peaked on Saturday at 7/7, and ended on Sunday with 6/7. Their reward for this week was to take them out for waffles – their absolute favourite.
Note to self: Don’t sugar them up and then try do some shopping – do it the other way around next time! That way mommy doesn’t have to lose her sh*t in the shops!
After tweaking it a little for this week, I thought I might share it with you. See the featured image.
At this stage I’m very happy they can’t read, although I do tell them what each line says (paraphrasing of course).
Long may it last.