It had been one of those weeks.
The nagging, the whining, the complaining, the he said/she said, the tattling, just seemed to go on and on.
There was no end in sight.
Have you ever been there with me, moms?
Those off days come and sometimes they go (and sometimes they stay).
This time, I decided I needed a plan.
A solid plan that was going to work. My brainstorming session led to three ideas.
What if I told you that having these three solid ideas in your back pocket are going to save you so much aggravation?
These methods are simple, effective, and ready for you to use.
Let’s get started.
With five kids and a forgetful mind, I needed a way to remember the consequences I so frequently handed out and did not follow through.
I came up with this behavior chart to stop this and gain peace all while reaching my children’s heart.
Step 1: Start with a prayer and a verse.
The verse I chose – Proverbs 12:18.
I placed the verse near the top of the chart.
Step 2 Come up with Family Rules.
Brainstorm the characteristics that you desire your children to possess.
Then, develop your rules from there.
For our family, I chose respect, ask permission first, obedience, cheerful heart, and playing the role of peacemaker.
These rules I wrote in the middle of the chart.
Step 3: Create your Consequences
The chart works like a flow chart.
Every day the kids start at the START HERE spot.
As the day progresses, actions that break or go against the family rules causes the clothespin to move down a step.
My four consequences are:
- Three extra chores and no treats
- Lose 30 minutes of screen time and gain 30 minutes of reading time
- A 7:00 bedtime.
This idea works so well because it is teaching and reminding kids that the choices they make and the rules they break have consequences.
Step 4: Come up with ways to move back up the chart
Now we have the redemption corner.
I came up with three ways that the kids can move back up the chart when they are having a rough day.
Three ways to redemption:
- Read for 20 minutes.
- Practice sports skills for 20 minutes.
- Practice piano and guitar for 20 minutes
This extends grace to my kids and reminds them that we all mess up every once in a while!
I love the behavior chart because it is portable and it WORKS.
It has been so nice to be able to remind my kids of Proverbs 12:18 and to ask them to follow our family rules.
Honestly, that gentle reminder has been all that it has taken.
The kids have taken the chart seriously, and my home life is much more peaceful.
Five Words to Use in a Tough Situation
I am the first to admit that I am not great in tough situations.
I hate conflict and hide from it.
So when my kids have a conflict with one another or speak angry words in our home, it grates on my nerves.
It makes me want to run and hide.
Again, I needed a plan.
While the chart is an effective behavioral system, these five words are the key to nipping conflict and especially sibling conflict in the bud.
The five words:
Can you make it better?
A quick scenario:
I am reading with one of my boys during our homeschool day and my 6-year-old and 4-year-old come barging in explaining who has done wrong and of course, both talking at the same time.
I cannot understand a word they are saying, but I am pretty sure they both think they are right.
This is the perfect time for me to say to each one of them:
Can you make it better?
If they still are pointing fingers at one another, I remind them that I asked them to make it better. They are in control of their actions.
For my older kids, this is a great reminder that they cannot control other people, but they can control their reactions to other people.
When one of their siblings are driving them crazy, it is the perfect opportunity for them to say to themselves – How can I make it better?
A Biblical Study on a Particular Character Trait
When there is a larger problem in our home, I love to sit my kids down and do a biblical study on a particular character trait.
This does not need to be a dissertation.
One verse is plenty.
Here is our simple method:
Grab a piece of paper and write the verse you want to focus on at the top.
Draw a line down the middle of the paper under the verse and compare and contrast.
For example, when we did a study of Proverbs 12:18, we divided the paper into Words that pierce like swords and Words that bring healing.
We discussed the different aspects of both and how they come up in our everyday lives.
Using Scripture is an excellent way to show our kids that the Bible applies to us and our everyday lives.
It is not something we just read at church. It is the true Living Word of God that we live by day in and day out.
Putting It All Together
My prayer is that these three methods will promote more peace in your home and build character.
It allows me to point them to Scripture, remind them of our goals as a family, and teach them life lessons that will carry into other relationships as they grow up.
The time we spend training and molding our children is critical.
I pray you will give these methods a try, make them your own, and enjoy your children throughout the journey of parenting.
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