Earning Their Keep!


At the moment I’m really struggling with the concept of getting my children to do as I say, rather than do as they want. I dont want to be hard and draconian, but I realise that it’s important to have this power battle whilst they are this age and not leave it until they are teenagers. I have to admit that the naughty step and time out have never been brilliantly successful in this house. The children do pretty much rule the roost, dictating what we have for dinner, what is on the television and how my living room looks (a playroom in case you wondered).

I’ve started upon a new approach. I am trying to get them to ‘earn’ their privileges. For example, if they don’t eat their breakfast they don’t get any television. If they tidy their toys then they can have the childrens music on. If they help me in the garden they can have a new toy or some sweets and so forth. Just simple things which I hope will help them to appreciate what they have and not take things for granted.

I have also purchased some sweet jars which we spent a little while decorating. Each sweet earnt or given to them is put into the jar and they can eat them all on a Saturday. I think this will help cut down the amount of sweets they eat, help them appreciate them more and also be a lot better for their teeth.

I feel slightly hassled, at the moment there are many more tantrums and perhaps half-term was not the best time, however I am sure it will be worth it. I really want my children to be responsible, respectful and appreciative of what they have.

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6 Responses

  1. Carrie 24th February 2011 / 10:03 am

    Those ideas sound great – just make sure you stick to them! I was always having great plans which never lasted the course!

  2. Coding Mamma (Tasha) 24th February 2011 / 12:09 pm

    Sounds like a great plan. We&#39;ve found banning from certain things can work very well with Rosemary – banning from the TV for X days, even though she gets very little TV anyway. The other day she got banned from the basement, because she came up the stairs in a dangerous way (knowing full well it was dangerous). She accepts the banning and will tell us if we forget and count down the days. <br

  3. Mark 24th February 2011 / 8:05 pm

    Believe me, this struggle never ends – what matters as they get older, I think, is the WAY they express their difference, for different they will be, a good thing too.<br /><br />&#39;Responsible, respectful and appreciative&#39; that&#39;s a good aspiration. I&#39;d say we got there with ours, tantrums and all; I have no doubt you will too.

  4. Elaine Livingstone 25th February 2011 / 8:01 am

    your saying you feel they eat more sweets than you like, so if they are saving for a saturday why not get them to save the sweet value in money, then on a saturday they can go out and spend what they have earned, and if one has not earned any then thats a bigger incentive to earn for the next week. <br />it is also easy to take money back out of the tub if any behaviour is not acceptable.<br />

  5. Muddling Along 25th February 2011 / 3:06 pm

    Mine have to help around the house as part of their core jobs – I guess I&#39;m selfish in that its my house and I don&#39;t want them totally taking over<br /><br />A friend suggested a jar with marbles in / out depending on good / bad behaviour – easy to do because they are small things for small indiscretions but the whole adds up<br /><br />Just a question of where to find marbles and how big

  6. YouthMUSE 27th February 2011 / 3:00 pm

    I couldn&#39;t agree more! I like the sweet jar approach. I have been working with mine for the past few years to &quot;earn&quot; their rewards. It gives them a stronger sense of contribution, a skill I want well developed before the teen years.

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