Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back to the basics 5 kids and no electronics??

Mid way through August I went out of town for Success School with Advocare. It was great, relaxing, educational, all over awesome...but when we got back the kids had stories of each other and of them were not good. I (on a whim) said "well September is National Turney No electronics month". That one sentence set it in motion. There were a few whines, a few- what about this or that-, but over all it went pretty well. Gabi later on asked "how long have you been planning this?' I told her "about 2 seconds before it came out of my mouth". (ya, that is about how much time I put into this new month we were about to embark on). The rest of august went by and they became more and more used to the idea so that made it easier to start it. I am pretty sure if they only had 2 days or so to mentally prepare that I would have had some sort of kid explosion. It would not have been a pretty site. We started on Sept 1 and we already had plans to head up to the grandparents for Labor day. That usually meant lots of tv..but not this time. They played in the kiddie pool and they even brought bags of toys to play with (you would have thought they were staying the full weekend there).

 On the way home we had to do a conference call and the easiest thing to do would have been to turn on a movie but of course that would have been crazy seeing that we were hardly 12 hrs into our full mth. We told them no talking and then lives were threatened (not really..well...sort of). They did awesome though. Along with this no electronic adventure, we started a new discipline system. It is the same kind that the elementary school does for the classes. We have a yard stick with six colors. Three above the line and three below the line. I wanted a way that they could physically see how what I say to be true is in fact true that their attitude changes everything. They start off each day above the line and doing chores and showing extra kindness moves them up the line. Of course, the same goes for moving down, bad attitude, or forgetting chores can do that. Here are some examples of extra kindness that has been a result of the new system, chores are being done with out being told, snacks are being made and breakfast is being served for the younger kids with out being forced or even asked to, they have cleaned rooms, moved lawn mowers when it started raining, cleaned up pencil holder that got knocked over (I knocked it over accidentally while walking out door) all with good attitudes and most without being asked. It has been a wonderful thing to add. There are certain kids that have a hard time calming down when they get angry b/c something did not go their way and this has even helped with that b/c I give them the warning that if they do not calm down they have to go move their pin done a color. There is something about them having to do it themselves that is great at helping them think it out and make a better choice to calm down faster. On Saturday we added up the time each child had earned over the course of the 6 days. We had a full two hrs (highest amount possible), down to 1hr and 25mins. They were allowed to take either sat or Sunday to watch tv and only those two days, it was not something that could be saved until next week. I didn't want them watching 6 hrs of tv on one day. Saturday was a very busy day with baseball and going to the fair and being there for many hrs so tired kids could of had something to do with it but I did notice that bed time the next night (Sunday) after everyone watched tv, was harder to put into place. I think it took over an hr to get everyone asleep (yuck, mama needs a break too). I haven't told the kids this yet but I am liking this so much that when October rolls around I will keep this is place and just tweak it some. They will get tv back but that is only if they go up one notice on the reward chart (showing they have done chores) and than they will still earn time each day to cash in but it will be for game time. (shh don't tell them yet, saving that awesome news until about week 3)