Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bonus Bracelet

It was one of those days where nothing seemed to be going right and everything was happening at the same time. on top of it, the girls either weren't listening or were giving me the typical "why" or "no". I finally screamed, "I'm done." Followed by a  more calm, "You are not going anywhere unless your father takes you because I need to stay home and clean the house and not try to take you out in public." The weight of the day lifted because I had made a very loud decision and was sticking to it.
It was a short lived relief because hubby said that he wasn't taking them anywhere because he needs to go to the gym (medical reasons...forgiven). Since, they were now going to stay we me all night too now, I had to come up with something quick. Over dinner I informed them that this morning's behavior was not going to continue this evening. That we need to start working together as a family. That we all live here, we all need to take part of helping make this house run smooth. I further informed them that we would all be cleaning the house tonight and they could choose their jobs. And this is where the bonus system came into play.
The rules are: If you do something because you are asked to, you get a "good job". If you do a chore without being asked, you get a bonus. If you go above and beyond, you get a bonus. If you are polite and considerate of others, you get a bonus. (Getting a little tired of the tattling and such.) Earn 20 points, you get an extra dessert (we only have dessert on days that have a T). Earn 60 points each (so they need to do some teamwork) and we're all going out to a restaurant (not McDonald's).
We were keeping track on paper where they could make their own tally marks. Mysteriously, one of the girls ended up with 50 points over night. So I used some of my other skills to create this.
A 20 bead bracelet. The blue one is the first and they race around to the pink one. then I chose 3 of my favorite charms that have been looking for a home and each girl got to pick one. Now they get to race around my wrist to earn their prizes. It's always handy and they can't cheat the system, even if it's accidentally.
I call it a chore chart with a sense of community. It's finding the things that need to be done and doing them without someone telling you to do them. The girls are excited about earning their points and even just getting the "good jobs" because we announce them loud and share how they earned it. They are being more considerate and helpful. It's not every day or even all day, but it's better than it was before. I'm sure we'll have to find something new soon enough when they get tired of this one. Either way, I got a cool new bracelet.