Monday, May 7, 2012

A solution to my Nag, Nag, Nag!?!

Like every mom (please tell me I’m not alone in this) I find myself repeating the same things over and over again until the point of frustration (theirs and mine). They turn off their ears and instantly I become the teacher in Charlie Brown with the muffled voice off in the distance who no one is listening to.

Repeating the same things over and over is exhausting. It isn’t even that I’m repeating the same thing on the same day, probably more frustrating is that even after talking about what is expected of them on Monday, it happens again on Tuesday and Wednesday and...

It amazes me how quickly our moods can change from good to bad in the blink of an eye. I knew I needed to change something and fast. When I stopped to really think about it I realised that my family has 3 hot times. They are; first thing in the morning when we’re rushing to get out the door, just after school when they need to decompress or around dinner time when hunger and fatigue collide for us all.

That is when I came up with the "Reminder Chart". It is simple. I put it up every week and it address the little things that I think they should know to do without being asked (or at least asked twice). The kids mark off the items as they do them each day and I don't have to ask. At the end of the week a full chart means they get their allowance (and I keep my sanity). That seems to be great motivation for them. Kids like to know what to expect, it gives them confidence and security. The 'Reminder Chart' is a great visual representation of expectations which they can easily understand and follow.

You may have noticed my 'three strikes' section at the bottom. This is the space where I can put a strike when behaviours we've talked about being unacceptable rear their ugly heads (i.e. speaking in a rude voice). Three strikes overrides allowance or something they covet (i.e. a favourite t.v. show) which seems to be an even bigger motivator. Again, the visual representation seems to be very impactful.

While I'm not claiming that I have solved the nagging issue completely, it has drastically cut it back and the kids are taking more responsibility. In my books, that is a SUCCESS!

PS - another cartoon that made me you can relate.

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