I'm going to tell you a little secret. I'm a horrible mother. I let my temper get the best of me way too much, and I get so angry with my children sometimes that it really feels like I am going to bust a blood vessel in my eye one day. My four year old really knows how to push me over the edge. I have been holding onto the end of that rope so tightly for what seems like so long that I just don't know if I want any more kids at all. Then I feel guilty. We worked so hard to get our babies here that I feel so unappreciative of the miracles God has given me. I have to try so hard every day, and I don't know where I would be without Him, but I know it would not be pleasant.
So, last week I was on the computer and I found this Works For Me Wednesday post. I got so excited because I had seen the Dilley Six on TV and knew that their mom had some sort of really involved discipline method, but I didn't know quite how it worked. IFLC even referenced it for me (I mean her readers), so I was able to read it for myself! You can read that here.
I talked to my husband about it that night and he thought it sounded like a good idea, so the next day I set about creating the whole thing. We've instituted it with our daughter, and so far so good! I am praying that this is our answer.
Here are the two charts I made. You can click on any picture to enlarge it. Now the daily chores have to be completed before any privileges are allowed, even breakfast.
Here is the ladder side of the chart. The infractions will change, I'm sure, as we encounter different behaviors that need to be modified. We also consider any extenuating circumstances before we have her move her marker...
Here you can see she has already completed all her chores.
And here is the chore chart without the magnets covering the pictures.
For the "Little Apprentice Duties" she is learning how to do my chores alongside me. I don't expect too much out of her right now. She still pitches in and helps me with them, but I really just want to make sure she's paying attention and watching carefully how I am doing the tasks. As she gets older the chart will, of course, change, and I will change my expectations of her as well. But for now, I think this is enough for her.
By the way, I made the chart and magnets for free out of stuff I already had: scrapbook paper, a circle punch, and old magnet advertisements that I was just about to toss in the trash. See?
This makes me smile every time I look at it!!