Tuesday, October 23, 2007

5 More Days Until My Birthday!

I haven't posted on here in awhile, but today I am in a combined mood of whimsical and sad. Which makes me want to write. I did want to go ahead and post a picture of the cupcakes that my friend Jayne and I made for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Tell me what you think!

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And last night, I made Cinnamon Toast Cupcakes, which turned out amazing. They are definitely a new favorite.

But sadly, not even cupcakes can cheer me up today. If I haven't mentioned how hard it is being a mom, it's even harder being a wife. I guess I have been pretty stressed out lately. Both of my daughters have been sick in the last week...and well, me personally, I thought I was pregnant, got all excited, only to find out that I actually am not pregnant. So, emotionally, I am drained.

One good thing that has happened recently on the parenting front is that I decided to implement a Rewards & Responsibilities chart. I printed a chart and reward coupons from this website called Child Avenue. It is all kinds of helpful. First let me just say, I did not think my daughters would respond to this type of system. But my four year old was getting out of hand - just being rude and talking back and even hitting her sister for no reason. And well, the 10 year old, it was even worse. She was having girl fights over boys in class, lying, and just being generally disrespectful.

So, I was at my wits end and decided to try the reward chart. I felt that they might be misbehaving so badly in part because we don't spend a lot of quality time together or really do anything fun together anymore. I have been so busy with work (a full-time and a part-time job) in addition to still taking classes to finish my Marketing degree, so I don't get much free time. But, I know that quality time is important, so I decided to try harder. This is how I do the chart:

At the beginning of the week, each child picks out a reward they want to work towards for the week. For example, last week was "A Night Out With Mom". I use the top 5 spaces for my oldest daughter and the bottom 5 spaces for my yougest and I write in their responsibilities. They are each responsible for doing their chores everyday without being told. For each chore completed, they get a star to put in the box. During the week, if they misbehave they get one warning. After the warning, if they misbehave again, I take away a star and write it in the box. And if by the end of the week, they've had 3 or more stars taken away, they do not get the reward. So, it's 3 strikes you're out. And let me tell you, after the warning and/or the threat of taking a star away, they stop dead in their tracks. They act like getting a star taken away is the end of the world and they immediately try to behave. It is working wonders! I seriously can not believe I did not try this before.

Have any of you tried this chart before? How is it working for you? Or do you have any questions about how I'm using it or have other suggestions? Feel free to post a comment and let me know what you think!

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