Friday, June 13, 2014

Carrots, Stars, and Other Incentives

A couple days ago, my little darlings and I sat down to a special breakfast and thrashed out what we wanted our summer to look like. After getting past the various food requests, which were many, they came up with a list of fun projects that they've been wanting to do, like making their own rag dolls and planting a garden for the fall. Cute, right?

I'd love to say that I'm one of those mothers that just inspire creativity and watch it blossom, unchecked, around them. But I can't. 
I need order and planning. A lot of it. I realized that to make these summer dreams actually come true- we needed a summer plan. So we came up with a (only slightly) more relaxed version of our regular morning schedule to get us going every day because if I wake up late or lounge for hours, my day is basically shot. I start to panic at 1p that the daylight is fading and there's no way that I can accomplish anything at this point and I might as well give up. It's like living in my own Roz Chast cartoon.

I ran out of electrical tape- hence the missing horizontal lines.

So, to stave off panic and motivate these little people, I made the star chart that I've been thinking about for months. Each baby has their own star color and they get to put it in the right box once they've completed one of their daily tasks. This is not a "chore chart"- just a "get through every day with minimal house destruction chart". But at the end of each day, we'll look at the chart and if everyone has all their stars the day gets a silver star. And a week full of silver stars means that I spend the weekend getting prepped for a summer project the next week.

Someone got a little preemptive with the silver stars

Of course, my eldest sweetheart Ev has never been more motivated in her life and she's been seeking out dishes to put away and toys to pick up. She's even been combing Mae Delphine's hair and making up the crib so she can put Mae's star (blue) on the chart. However, my little sprite Jo couldn't be less concerned with the things of this world- she only gets stars on her chart when Ev puts them there. And then I have a puppy (Dash) that gets really excited about the stars for two minutes until he gets distracted by a ball and forgets about everything else. 

So, like most of my brilliant ideas (i.e. shiz that I copied from other people) it's going to be an evolving organism. It won't solve all my sticking points with my children but I think it will help to make life run a little more smoothly for a while and help me stay motivated on following through with my promises of togetherness projects. Plus, it was really, REALLY satisfying to cut up the magnets that I've been saving for years into perfect little squares that would fit foil stars on them. PS I know I have a problem, you don't have to tell me.

Happy Weekend, Friends!

1 comment:

  1. this is AWESOME! and so sweet that Ev is taking charge of everyone else's tasks so that they can all be rewarded. when do you think it would be reasonable to make a chart for Graham? he's 16 mo old now and is seriously slacking in the bad making department. i love SILVER STARS!


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