As we head into the full swing of fall, it’s a bit bittersweet remembering how the beginning of summer felt. And while we cannot take the pool days, beach visits, and bike rides until dusk with us through the rest of the year, I can share with you one thing that worked with our kiddos this summer and that we still use…and I must warn you, it’s totally parent related, not fun at all, and feels a little like bribery. But with a 10, 8 and 6-year old, sometimes you just cling onto anything that makes your life easier like a life raft of sanity.
So here goes…I made and implemented a system for electronic time using tickets. Now, I realize I am not genius, I surely am not the first parent that has done such a thing, and no one will be comparing me to Einstein any time soon. I am ok with that; I am still over here reveling in the glory that it actually worked and continues to work. And that is what I am sharing today; a system that works for my kids, that I am thrilled sets its own boundaries, and sometimes gets them to give me an extra hand with all the extra things around the house (you know, those things they think a magical fairy does, like clean the toilet).
If you too struggle with setting boundaries with electronics, having your kids hound you begging to use it, and a general lack of compliance with chores then hang in there…this may work for you too. I’ll lay out what we do below and you can tweak it to what works for you, because no two families are alike and certainly that goes for kiddos too.
I get that this system isn’t for everyone, I also get that it may appear that we are control freaks and super old-school. I am completely fine with all those opinions. The fact of the matter is that one of our kiddos has issues with electronic usage and allowing the random use of electronics can create a lot of chaos…think rainbows and sunshine to hell in a hand basket in 3 seconds flat. But, the beauty about this system is that you can use it for whatever fits…extra allowance, monetary rewards, prizes, a special outing, whatever incentives your kiddos respond to best.
And the beauty of it? It teaches good work ethic, a better mentality about where and when to spend…I mean, I have to show up and actually work to get paid…and then I have to choose carefully about where I spend that money. These are all things we want our kiddos to do to grow up and be an employee someone would be willing to hire. I’ll consider that last one a bonus because I genuinely look forward to the day when I can see them adulting and doing it the way that makes any mama or papa proud. So we’ll start here because baby steps always count.
Stay...In The Moment
Jennifer Kalista is the face behind In The Moment Restorations offering everything from the likes of design services and paint color recommendations, to custom furniture restoration and handpicked home decor, lifestyle goods, apparel and more.