Like most parents, we've tried a variety of different ways to keep the kids in line, to reward them for good behaviour and discourage the naughty stuff. Lately I found that I'd mostly resorted to yelling and shouting at them, and to be honest, the effect seems to have worn off. They're not scared of me!
So I decided to try a different plan of attack. We introduced the "Star Chart". I printed a large star for each of them which they got to colour-in and cut out. Printed a simple chart (see below), popped it in a clear plastic sleeve and stuck the star on their name with Blu-tak.
Now the fun stuff - every time they do something deemed "good" - they get to move their star UP one spot. Whenever they are fighting or naughty, they move their star down one spot. Once they get to the end, they choose a reward! I have a prize box full of kids-stuff: fluffy pencils, notepads, matchbox cars, stickers, lollies etc and they can choose from there, OR choose something like a new ipad game or get 30 minutes ipad time.
We've been doing this for a few months now and I actuallly love the way this is working for us, because the thought of losing a star seems to be a pretty powerful motivator for my two. Also, I'm awarding stars for independent thought. I'm sick of barking orders at them in the morning like: "brush your teeth!/get dressed!/put your shoes on!" etc so I made it clear that they would be given stars for thinking ahead and doing it without being asked. If I have to ask, they dont get a star. Mornings now are a lot more peaceful, they have breakfast and quite often don't have to be reminded to go and get ready, they just do it in the hopes of getting a star. Miss 6 has also started helping with drying the dinner dishes (without me asking!) and giving out foot massages to mummy and daddy, so its a win for everyone! Mr 4 likes to let me know that he remembered to switch the light off in the bathroom, or put his plate in the sink, just in case I didn't notice ;) I love it!
What do you do to help keep your kids in line?
Recently I spent a beautiful morning with Angie and her lovely family for a newborn/family shoot. The family wanted to include their 3 fur-babies in the photos as well (and we all know how I love having family pets included!) so we did the shoot at their home. I was delighted with the super-cute miss Aubrey, who was my constant companion and little helper for the entire shoot! I hope you enjoy these images!
Thank you Battelley family for trusting me with your precious memories!
Hilary Hudson Photography. Natural Light Newborn and Families Photographer based in Tamborine, QLD. Australia.