Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Try It Tuesday: using lists and rewards

This week it was not a new product I tried, but a new way of doing things with my kids. For me, lists are very helpful. They show me what I still need to do and allow me to feel a sense of accomplishment as I cross things off and review what I have already done. They also serve as a mini-goal sheet for me. WHen I have a larger goal to accomplish, I break it down into smaller goals and then include the smaller goals on my to-do list. After thinking about it, I realized this may just work with my kids as well.

I often struggle with them because there is so much more that they want to do besides housework or schoolwork. Can I blame them? There is so much more that *I* want to do besides housework, too! We are not a rigidly structured household so things like chore charts and schedules just have not worked for us in the past. This past week I decided to write up a list each day of things they need to have done. Then I went and divided the list up into a few chunks, each chunk covering at least a small chore and some schoolwork. After each chunk, I write in a "treat" of some sort, whether it be free time on the computer or tv or a special snack or special activity. Now they have something to work towards.

So is it working? Not like I would have hoped, but it has decreased the amount of arguing to get work done. Now it is simple, if you want the treat, you do the work. My 6-year old does all her work as quickly as possible so she can enjoy her treats as she wishes. My 7-year old though has an "I don't care" attitude until her sister gets her treat, then she suddenly decides to work. I guess for her, I will have to keep trying to find something that works. For her sister and myself, the lists are working well so I will continue them for us.

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