May 27, 2011
Although my little one is still very young, I often wonder what it will be like when she learns to express her own opinion and will. What will she say to me? What happens when she doesn't want to obey? What kind of response will I give her?
My hope is that it will be one of love, but also full of wisdom for what will help her to grow. And I'm sure that sometimes, probably most of the time, it will be a hard process. So I like to take methods and advice I've heard and file it away in my own personal parenting memory bank. You know, for future usage.
Recently, a friend told me that her sister purchased a Nintendo DSi for her kids, but let them know that it was her DSi and that they are only allowed to earn play time on it. So it does not belong to either of them, but instead it is something they must work for the privilege of using. They are not allowed to fight for it and do not become glued to it because it belongs to Mom and Dad. Genius! They do chores and help out around the house in exchange for DSi minutes - then once they start playing, they must set an egg timer with the allotted minutes. Once the timer goes off, they must turn off the device themselves. Consistency with this method is key, but I love that the kids are the ones that must have self-control and the parents are there to offer accountability. There are so many lessons to learn in this!
Another similar method that I've read about is Mom Bucks (you could probably make this Mom and Dad Bucks). I remember a teacher in elementary school that used this with our class, and it was great for incentives and offered positive reinforcement. It's very simple - the kids earn bucks by contributing around the house, helping put away groceries, cleaning their rooms, and the like. Parents give them paper money in $1 or $5 increments. As a reward, they can turn their bucks in for fun events like a trip to Jamba Juice or the movies. Or they can turn in their bucks for real cold, hard cash (3 Mom Bucks = whatever cash exchange rate you like!). This seems like an effective tool - much better than the sticker charts or regular allowance - it seems to have more staying power.
Well, we'll see how it all goes, my prayer above all is that as a family we will communicate openly, clearly and lovingly to one another with patience and understanding ... Until then, one step at a time. My child has barely begun to crawl yet! How the time flies.
Extra note: a list of interesting random mom tips I found from Parenting here.
Image from here