So one of my resolutions this year included getting more organized…pretty much in every area. I know I strive under structure and I’m about 100% positive Little Man is going to be the same way.
Because just swinging it isn’t flying anymore. He needs to learn responsibility and time management. I’m tired of the constant struggle to get him ready in the mornings before school and tired of repeating myself to pick up toys, put clothes away, etc…
So after getting some great advice set out to create a system that will help both of us out.
It’s a work in progress and it’s not set in stone but wanted to get something going and use trial and error to see what will work best for us. You have to start somewhere!
Little Man seems to be motivated by rewards… I think at 5 years old, we are not yet ready to give money in exchange for chores. In our house, TV time and video games are the big hit. I detest both and even more so every day that goes by. If I had the only say, I would toss out both TV and video game console. But since I don’t have the only say, that’s not an option. But I want to really start limiting his screen time without making it seem like a punishment and start a wave of tantrums.
So, going to try to use it as a reward… he will have to “earn” his screen time now during the week (some don’t allow screen time at all during the week and only weekends but I’m not ready to make the jump there… YET!)
He will have three options… either earn points for TV time during the week, earn points for video games on the weekends, or earn points for fun outings.
I will have a jar of Popsicle sticks each worth 5 points. After he completes a task or chore, he can choose a stick and add it to the TV, Games, or Outings jar. Once he reaches a 100 points, he can choose from a list of outings such as a baseball game, bowling, the library, the park, a picnic, laser tag, etc.
He can only earn up to an hour of video games a day for Saturday and Sunday.
Here is a “working draft” of the reward system (This is more for me to get in writing so I can keep up with everything).
Here is another “working draft” of Little Man’s Chores and Weekday Morning Schedule.
I had to create a Weekday Morning Schedule because we struggle almost every morning getting out of the door. He gets up, turns on the TV, curls up on the couch with a blanket, and wants me to get him dressed and make his lunch, etc…
No more. (Ok, I’m not still dressing him…i’m talking about picking out his clothes and basically walking him through all the steps repeatedly from the bedroom or bathroom)
Now, in the evenings, he will choose what he wants to wear for the next day and lay it out. He also will now have to get completely dressed (for some reason getting dressed to him means just top and bottoms and then will almost walk out of the house without socks and shoes on!!), make the bed, and pack his lunch BEFORE the TV ever comes on. I have no problem with him watching a cartoon before we leave. It gives me time to get ready and get some things done. I will make his sandwich but he will now have to get everything else together and make sure his lunch box gets in his backpack. I will walk him through the schedule a couple of times to make sure he gets it and packs a decent lunch before setting him free with it.
We’ve never done chores before but I started the other week giving him things to do. It’s well past time that he starts. And you know what I found? He actually LIKES doing them! He gets excited when I praise him for a job well done. Who doesn’t like to receive praise for a job well done? But I noticed after a day or two, I would have to remind him… So, I’m hoping with a chart, he will be able to go to it each day to see what he needs to do, and after he completes a task, he will put a sticker in the box and can then choose a Popsicle stick as well as choose what reward he wants the points to go towards!
This is just a starting place for us. It needed to be done. I’m sure I’ll change things as we go forward with this but we needed to start somewhere!
Wish us well!
I will post updates on how we both do with this! This is just one area I’m tackling… meal planning, bedrooms, and car organization, I’ll save for another week, lol. I can only handle so many changes at once! 🙂
Third tip on achieving your Resolutions… just dive in and DO IT!! Stop putting it off! There’s no secret sadly… just suck it up, pick an area that needs the most attention, and COMMIT to it! (Goes back to mindset, Tip #2) Also, make it public so now you know you have to give account to how it’s going!
PS: I spelled putt-putt golf wrong. I typed up put-put and of course because it actually spells a word, it didn’t show up and I just now realized it… lol. My Bad!