Summer is in full swing in our household. Both of the kidlets are in day camp and having a grand old-time of “no more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks!” It also seems like the end-of-school dismissal bell has rung in our own home with the kidlets rebelling against mom and dad concerning all things routine, rules and discipline. It also doesn’t take much time or effort these days for brother and sister to turn against each other as well. Sometimes it’s a miracle for them to be in the same room for five minutes without any arguing, screaming or crying!
Since the kidlets are only six and three The Hubs and I tried to cut them a little slack, but after a week of this anarchist behavior we had just about enough! We weren’t quite sure how to rein the kidlets back in without the structure of the school year when it hit me. Now, just like they have at school posted in their classrooms throughout the year, we instituted a list of “House Rules” for the summer that the kidlets have to follow.
Our “House Rules” are pretty basic, and simple enough for anyone to follow. They are:
- Be Kind To Others
- Show Respect To Others
- Follow Directions
- Clean Up Your Mess
- Use Inside Voice
- Keep Your Hands & Feet To Yourself
The “House Rules” are posted right smack in the middle of fridge in large lettering written in bold colors – so as not be ignored. Every morning after breakfast we gather as a group in front the fridge to review with the kidlets each taking a turn reading a rule out loud and explaining what the rule means.
I’ve read on many parenting blogs that using a system of positive rewards is a great way for families to guide good behavior (and increases the chances of the behavior occurring again!), so at the end of each day, depending upon how many rules the kidlets have followed they earn anywhere from $0 to $1 in R Bucks. Each rule followed earns $.10, but if you follow all six rules in a day – you earn the special bonus of $1.
The kidlets save up their R Bucks and can then redeem them in our very own version of a prize redemption center.
The Hubs and I bought a few inexpensive toys, books and treats that we priced to cost just the same about in R Bucks as we actually paid for them (rounding them up to the next dollar amount). For example:
- A Star Wars or Hello Kitty Pez dispenser and candy costs $3 in R Bucks
- The Doug & Melissa Princess Paint With Water Kids’ Art Pad costs $5 in R Bucks
- The Monsters University sticker book costs $7 in R Bucks
- The Skylander GIANTS Bouncer figure is $15 R Bucks (it was on sale)
- The most coveted item in the prize cabinet (yes, even my daughter is into them too) are the Red and Gold Power Ranger Samurai figures which cost $12 R Bucks each
So far the kidlets have been all about trying to earn their daily R Bucks and have even found secret hiding places for them in the house so they don’t lose them because it’s also their responsibility to keep their earnings in a safe place because as they say, no ticky, no shirty.
I’ll give you a progress report in a few weeks to see how the “House Rules” is going and what the kidlets have earned with their R Bucks, but I’m glad that we’re pulling this crazy train behavior back onto the tracks.
Now it’s your turn to share. What do you do to encourage your children’s good behavior?
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