I was talking on the phone the other day with a friend of mine. We were bemoaning the fact that we spent so much of our time following kids around, trying to get them to stay focused on chores, homework, piano practice, etc. Not fun for the kids, and certainly not fun for mom!
She made the comment “I really need to think of a more fun and loving way to help them get everything done!”
Oh my gosh. I forgot that was the goal! I was so busy being annoyed that they couldn’t be as productive as mini-adults, that I completely forgot that it was my job to make learning those skills fun and rewarding. And most of all, it is my job to teach with love, not with endless nagging.
How could I have forgotten that? I used to know it. When my older kids were little we had elaborate reward systems that kept everyone happy and busy. Davis dollars! I realized that sometimes I expect my little ones to behave like the older ones. It seems like I have already been teaching those lessons for years, so I subconsciously expect the little ones to have learned them too.
Anyway, I began with Jonah. I picked him up from school one day last week. We went to lunch, got a haircut, and spent some quality time together. We also talked about the “new” Davis dollar system that we would be implementing next week. He was so excited!
I noticed an immediate change in him. He was getting up earlier, in a great mood, anxious to get started on his chores. He packed his lunch without needing to be reminded. He came home from school and immediately started on his homework. He made the observation, a couple of days later, “Mom! I guess all you have to do is take me out to lunch once a week, and I’ll be happy and motivated for days!” Such a sweet little guy! A little positive attention from mom can still solve so many of his problems!
We’ve been doing Davis dollars for a week now. I write all the “jobs” on his very own white board in the morning. I include “packing your lunch” and “brushing your teeth.” He checks off each task when it’s finished, and collects Davis dollars at the end of the day. No more nagging or reminding! It’s a miracle!