Children and discipline
by, 08-15-2008 at 02:53 PM (2500 Views)
We are a Blended family of 8, 3 girls, 3 boys and Mom and dad. My husband had 3 children 2 boys ages 6 & 7 in the beginning and 1 girl age 13 in the beginning (2002)I had 2 girls ages 2 & 4 and 1 boy age 10 months. We both had full custody of all 6 children so they all lived with us 24/7!
We moved to the country from the City of course and this was a trial, but doing so while
blending a family proved to be very trying! We had decided that I was going to be the stay-at-home mom I had always wanted to be, and although there were many joys involved, it was sibling rivalry at its finest around here to say the least!
We (The Parents) ended up fighting over discipline and responsibility often and These poor kids had to learn to grow out of the horrible parenting situations that they had learned from our previous marriages.
After 2 years of fighting to come to some sort of responsibility/privilege compromise and solution, trying to get kids not to play the parents against each other, pick, fight, bicker and argue amongst each other and just plain wanting to rip my own hair out in frustration and being heart broken thinking there was no solution to blending this family and keeping the ones I loved so dearly together, I met a woman who told me about the baseline home token system.
Now She and I have of course altered it to fit our general situations but I will give the general Idea and how it benefits EVERYONE, because after 3 years on this system our blended family has become stable and I still have my hair! Basically for every desirable behavior or responsibility (which are all done by a specific time)they earn points. and for any undesirable behavior they lose points and for the earned points they may spend them, just like money, to buy their privileges.
What I did was go to the thrift stores and buy old poker chips. I am a Bartender by trade so I brought home 8, 1 gallon olive/cherry jars, I ran them through the dishwasher and put the kids names on their own jars, 1 jar for the parents, and 1 jar I labeled "chores" I put different chores on 3x5 cards in that jar.
Now we live in a rural area on 5 acres and have animals so the chores are plenty! Feed and water animals, clean up front or back yard, kitchen, bathroom, your room & laundry, living room, dining room, you get the idea of what chores you can dish out here!
Then make and print a list for "desirable behaviors" for each child. That they earn points for, for instance, Getting your self up by 6am , eat breakfast, have yourself ready for school, brush teeth and out the door to the bus by 7:30am, each individual task is worth 2 points. When they get home at 3pm, homework done by 4pm is worth 2 points, chore done by 5pm another 2 points, then any help offered without being asked I throw in 2 points for, remembering to turn off lights, I also give points for them simply showing respect to one another to encourage that sort of behavior.
The points can be spent on (in my house) Video game, t.v. time, movie time, telephone time, any sweets or treats, computer time, I generally pick things that my kids are addicted too! and charge for that, I consider regular toys such as Lego's drawing, coloring, board games and such free time and no one pays for those. As they get older or for the more responsible ones I let them save their points for sleepovers, there own movie rentals, going to the movies or out to eat with a parent.
I also print out a list for what privileges they can spend their points on such as the T.V. time, video game time etc, whatever fits your family's situation. I like to add different things that they can ask to do to earn more points as when I first started this I would take ALOT of points for them fighting with each other or fighting with a parent.
Thank goodness my children have never taken this discipline as far as the system is meant to go, when you follow all the rules to this system and the child does not comply to you being the adult you sit them in a corner on a chair (a timeout sort of thing I suppose) until they are ready and willing to comply to your rules and expectations.
My favorite part of this system is that when done properly and explained to them so they understand the rules there is no more yelling in my home. If someone breaks the rules all I have to do is go take points out of their jars and they stop right in their tracks. There is structure and no more mayhem!
Now, as I said earlier I put a jar out for the parents too, we get points ourselves for doing our chores and taking care of our responsibilities as well and it is an outstanding example for the kids as well.