Kids. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live with ’em. But somehow you just have to, especially during the holidays when it’s all the more important to make sure your little devils behave themselves so that you don’t have a nervous breakdown. Once upon a time, it was so easy: all you had to do was warn your kids that Santa Claus wouldn’t bring them any presents if they misbehaved. In today’s more enlightened climate, however, a parent needs to be just a little more subtle in their approach.
Reward is its own virtue
Some kind of reward system is a good way to ensure that your kids toe the line. If you’ve ever watched Supernanny, then you’ll know that one of the recommended ways to avoid unasseptable behaviour is by way of a reward chart.
How does this work? Well, you put up a chart on the wall measuring the overall progress of your little ones’ behaviour. Each time they do as they’re told, you add another sticker to the chart, so that both you and your kids can monitor their progress.
However, if they misbehave (and you know they will at some point), then you remove a sticker. If you do this, then it’s important to tell them why you did it, and also what they must do to get that coveted sticker back up on the wall again. Before you know it, they’ll be jumping through hoops to get back on the board. Or climbing onto a chair and putting the sticker back up again when you’re not looking.
Listen To Teacher
In disciplining your kids you could do a lot worse than follow some of the methods used by teachers. One such method is teacher reward stickers. Essentially, the idea behind this is that every time a child does something good or praiseworthy, you give them a brightly-coloured sticker telling them how wonderful you think they are.
So, for example, if little Johnny has a 100% attendance record then you give him a sticker saying 100% attendance. Well done Johnny! Or, if Mary-Jane finished 5th place in the sports day egg and spoon race, then you give her a sticker saying… well, you get the idea.
And there’s no reason why it couldn’t work in a home environment, particularly when it comes to chores. Making chores seem like fun is the key here. If there’s a nice little reward at the end of it, then the little blighters are much more likely to swing into action.
But don’t go overboard. If you order stickers saying ”Well done, Johnny, for not burning down the shed or ”Well done, Mary Jane, for painting the house, cleaning the rooms, washing the dishes, mowing the lawn, doing the ironing, doing the shopping, making the tea and darning socks,” then you can expect a call from social services.
Crop circles. The showbusiness career of Alan Carr. And the success of Twister. These are just some of the great mysteries of our time. But one of the world’s most popular ways to kill time in a caravan during a downpour does have its uses, namely in that little spinner thingy which tells you where to put your hands or feet. With a simple modification you can use the spinner to allocate chores to your children.
This is a much fairer way of divvying up the chores because the kids can see that the whole process is completely random. Unless of course you really want little Johnny to clear away his toys in which case you can use an old trick with a magnet. But don’t tell anyone I told you, okay?