At the beginning of the week the kids were arguing and I was on their case about and we were all upset. We have spent a lot of time together this summer, much of it in close quarters and it is bound to happen. Overall, our kids get along very well. But it had been going on consistently lately and we had to do something about it.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I came up with my best parental solution of the summer (which may not be saying much) - the kids were all sent to one room and were not allowed to leave until they figured out a better solution.
It was pretty quiet the first thirty minutes. After that, I could hear some laughing. After about an hour, they came out and showed me their solution. It was very good.
They created a chart with their names on it. For each time that they are rude or are raising their voices, they get an X next to their name. When they get three Xs, they have to work for an hour or they lose screen privileges (computer, TV, video games). They had lines for each of them to sign their signature saying that they agreed to the stipulations.
The best part - it was a deterrent that they bought into. When they are caught using words that are not nice, they know and accept the result. It also doesn't punish every single mistake, but gives them a chance to see what is happening over time. It also keeps me from grumping at them every single time something happens, a standard parental response that really does very little to help train them in new behavior patterns.
I also signed off on the agreement. So far this week I'm doing pretty good - only one X.
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