family

Now I’m A Believer…

Most of you don’t know that before children I used to be an elementary school teacher. All of the  mad organizational skills in my classroom, color-coding, discipline schemes, schedules, charts, lists, graphs,  have not shown up in any part of my homemaking or parenting practices. Until yesterday.
After much struggle with Emma over small tasks  and behaviors like dropping shoes where they fall off her feet when she walks in the door, leaving a trail of toys ALL OVER the house, and sometimes no inherent desire to be helpful or kind to family–I reverted back to my professional training. I have created a STAR CHART!
Before I go on, let me say that I KNOW the things that I described about Emma are typical, to be expected,normal, etc, etc…but I am simply trying to bring some order to her life (and mine) and establish some of what I believe to be important life skills. I mean, just think of the chaos if we all dropped our shoes midway into the house. Not to mention the cost of lost shoes (she has somehow, beyond my comprehension, lost two pairs in two weeks!)
So yesterday I broke out the posterboard, markers, stars, ruler and sticky-stac, and a star chart was born. I printed small clip art images to help her read her chart and added boxes for stars beside each item. And yesterday, the first day of implementation of my little plan, was a great day. She got stars in every box and even cleaned up her toys without my encouragment. This is great. I think this may work. And to be able to ask her to do something with the motivation of getting a star, versus my nagging, makes for a much happier three year old and mother.
I never thought I’d be the type to have a star chart hanging in my kitchen. But I’ve been converted.
Some of you more experienced moms may be snickering. Maybe next week I’ll be blogging about how the star chart has lost its intrigue or that we haven’t added stars since the first day. But only time will tell. For now, I’m enjoying it and I THINK she is too.
Oh, and the motivation to fill the chart–a trip to the dreaded toy store where grandma works. This time with a strict two-dollar limit.

Most of you don’t know that before children I used to be an elementary school teacher. All of the  mad organizational skills in my classroom, color-coding, discipline schemes, schedules, charts, lists, graphs,  have not shown up in any part of my homemaking or parenting practices. Until yesterday.
After much struggle with Emma over small tasks  and behaviors like dropping shoes where they fall off her feet when she walks in the door, leaving a trail of toys ALL OVER the house, and sometimes no inherent desire to be helpful or kind to family–I reverted back to my professional training. I have created a STAR CHART!
Before I go on, let me say that I KNOW the things that I described about Emma are typical, to be expected,normal, etc, etc…but I am simply trying to bring some order to her life (and mine) and establish some of what I believe to be important life skills. I mean, just think of the chaos if we all dropped our shoes midway into the house. Not to mention the cost of lost shoes (she has somehow, beyond my comprehension, lost two pairs in two weeks!)
So yesterday I broke out the posterboard, markers, stars, ruler and sticky-stac, and a star chart was born. I printed small clip art images to help her read her chart and added boxes for stars beside each item. And yesterday, the first day of implementation of my little plan, was a great day. She got stars in every box and even cleaned up her toys without my encouragment. This is great. I think this may work. And to be able to ask her to do something with the motivation of getting a star, versus my nagging, makes for a much happier three year old and mother.
I never thought I’d be the type to have a star chart hanging in my kitchen. But I’ve been converted.
Some of you more experienced moms may be snickering. Maybe next week I’ll be blogging about how the star chart has lost its intrigue or that we haven’t added stars since the first day. But only time will tell. For now, I’m enjoying it and I THINK she is too.
Oh, and the motivation to fill the chart–a trip to the dreaded toy store where grandma works. This time with a strict two-dollar limit.

5 comments on “Now I’m A Believer…”

  1. I finally decided to do the charts a while back with ava and couldn’t believe how well they worked! she is sooo into it! I should’ve known… I still remember how good it felt to get gold foil stars for good behavior and accomplishments…! and by the way, our chart was born out of the same necessity– ava’s messiness was about to drive me out of my mind. while it has still been a challenge, there has also been much improvement… she’s much more aware now (which is a huge step).

  2. dear molly,

    thanks for e-mailing. sorry you haven’t been receiving the others but are getting caught up. this blog site is awesome!! your girls are beautiful. hope that you can come in october…

    tu amiga, amber drinen

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