Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Update on the rottens . . .

I thought I would update you on the post that I vomited out last week about how badly my kids were behaving. We have changed things up around here. I thought I would share a few changes we have made with you.

I have made a conscious effort to get up earlier. Ever since the kids have been going to daycare with me we have a quick exit routine. I get up about 30 minutes prior to having to be at work, get them up, get myself ready in about 5 minutes while they wake-up potty and brush their teeth. I throw clothes on them, we run downstairs and grab a breakfast from the breakfast basket and eat in the car while we travel the 7 minutes to work. We have it down to a science. I value my sleep.

Well, since I had the meltdown I have decided it is time to change the routine. I get up earlier, at least an hour before work, take them downstairs to get ready so we have new scenery. I actually make breakfast! Sometimes I even make something the night before and I can warm it up. I pick clothes the night before. See, McCartney has had MAJOR fits about clothing since she could walk. Dressing time is a HASSLE, she has to choose and she takes 3 FOREVERS. I have put my foot down. She gets no choices. I choose. She lost the privilege of choosing her clothes with all the fits. She may or may not earn it back.

They get dressed and then they eat while I get ready at the new little table I put in the kitchen. No television. No fits allowed. It has been working.

We have put our foot down on just about everything. No arguing, just do it. No fits, or you go to your bed. Everything they do when they are asked earns a sticker on their chart. Brush you teeth without a fit, you get a sticker. Go to the bathroom upstairs alone, sticker. Clean you plate, sticker. Put away your shoes, sticker. Each sticker is worth a nickel. This is now their allowance. The chart has 20 spaces per line so they know that each filled line equals one dollar. Dustin is on the same program. They can earn more than one sticker for a job as well. Dustin has more chores around here to complete each day also. The other day Dustin stole a whole package of melting chocolate and ate it. I deducted it from his earnings. It was nice to try to make a connection for him.

It is working. They are not perfect, but much improved! They know we mean business and they are sent to their bed if they throw a fit. They hate being upstairs alone so it works as a major deterrent.

I am also being more active. I find one job each night that needs done outside. I love working in the yard and it is my time. They can go outside with me, but they irritate me they go right back inside. This is my time to decompress. One fight with a sibling, they both go inside. One time screaming at me, inside. You argue, inside. It works. When daddy decides you can come back out, we try again. The new little dog loves to walk, so when I run out of yard work, walking the dog will also work, but I have lots of weeds!

So thanks for all your encouragement and you ideas. We are trying. That's about all we can do!


Torina said...

I may steal that sticker chart idea. Simple and covers everything. We've done variations of that with T but not with the boys so I will give it a shot before I end up in the looneybin.

Lisa said...

Great ideas!!! Everyone here gets to pick their play clothes for daily wear but I pick go-to-town clothes. Just not worth the argument.
You're a really awesome mom!

Ruby Green said...

I'm not a parent but this sounds like a great idea. I imagine it will help the household become a more calming place. Gardening is great for the soul.

PreSchoolMama said...

I need to try getting up earlier I so struggle being more organized in the morning.

You know McCartney hasn't thrown a fit in class since last year. I asked her today if she could just not go to Lincoln and stay with me forever. She said no but she would come for visits.