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Monday, January 5, 2009

Getting down to business

As parents we often have to come up with creative ways to get our children to do the things we want them to do. For instance, my children will do the chores I tell them to do and possibly stop unsavory behavior, but I often have a hard time getting them to initiate chores and good behavior.

That's why when I spotted a Responsibility Chart in Barnes and Noble during the weekend after Christmas I knew that it was a good idea to try out on my kids. My BFF, who was with me at the time, purchased the chart for me and I introduced it to the kids yesterday.



The chart, which hangs on the wall, has about 22 responsibilities that you can choose from with up to seven you can work on per week. This week my two middle children are working on not whining, sharing, clearing the table, keeping their hands to themselves, no teasing, getting ready for bed and a few others. I chose ones that were specific to what I wanted them to work on as well as some that I knew they were already doing well.

My 5-year-old son is a major whiner and has been hitting and punching his two younger sisters when they aggravate him. My almost 4-year-old daughter teases her brother and whines so those were perfect for her. At the end of each day we review the chart and evaluate how well they did and they each get to choose a smiley face to put next to the responsibility they accomplished that day. If they didn't do as well with it we discuss it, leave it blank and they have a visual reminder of what they need to work on.


Right now their smiley faces are put together, but I hope to get them each their own chart in the future so it'll be easier for them to see how well they're doing. Then as my son grows out of it I can introduce it to my youngest daughter who's 1.

Speaking of the 1 year old, I had to put the chart up a little higher than I would have liked because she still enjoys taking small stuff and putting it in her mouth. I saw her checking out the smiley faces and I knew she had plans to munch on them.



I really hope this chart inspires and encourages my children to keep up their good behavior. I only have about nine months before my teenager goes off to college and I won't have a "back-up person" to help me with them on a regular basis so it's past time to get down to business.
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