Last night and today I have been thinking of how nice and peaceful this last week or so have been. Everyone has seemed happier overall, the kids have played better together, there have been fewer sibling fights, Rick and I have been sweeter to each other, and I have felt a lot calmer and more patient than normal. My main reasoning for this: Job Charts!
9 days ago I made up simple little Job Charts for Gabriella, William, and myself. Nothing fancy, just the basics that should be done everyday. The kids have things like Brush your teeth, Clean your room, Get dressed. Gabriella also has Clean the Bathroom (her choice) and Brush your Hair. William has No Accidents (potty wise). Mine are pretty basic too. Make the bed (I am NOT a bed maker!), Read my scriptures, Dinner by 6, Use the Elliptical and a few more. All things that I should be doing, but I don't do very well (or not at all). My whole reasoning for doing these Job Charts was not for the kids, but for myself. See, I have this addiction. It's called Wasting Time on the Computer. So Rick and I made a little deal. I stay off the computer (except at nap time and after kids are in bed at nite) and I get a little treat each week (he'll make me cheesecake or I can get Cold Stone). And I decided to take it a step further and create our Job Charts. This is a bit embarrassing to admit, but it is working wonderfully for all of us! The kids LOVE LOVE LOVE putting their little stickers on the chart each day and they were thrilled when our first week ended and they got to go to the Dollar Store and pick out a prize - any 1 thing they wanted.
Another thing I know has helped: FHE - Family Home Evening
We have not been big Family Home Eveningers. Sad, but true. It just seems that by the time Rick gets home and we have dinner, it is time to get ready for bed! Well, we are making a change! The day after Christmas, and again on New Year's Day, we went as a family to the movies. It was a first for all of the kids and they loved it! I told Rick that it would be fun to take the kids to a move once a month or so. And he agreed IF we had FHE for the month. We've managed to have a brief little lesson each week for the last 2 weeks so we are halfway there to getting our next movie day! Oh, and we get to put a sticker on each Monday nite that we are successful - a Bonus for the kids!