Monday, July 8, 2013

Parental desperation: the get along box

We're about a month into summer vacation.

One thing I was ill-prepared for in this parenting journey was fighting.

Oh goodness, the fighting.


About 2 weeks ago, I was ready to pull my hair out.

Find a full time job, pack them off to day care.

Let someone else deal with it.

Then, I realized I had an amazing opportunity to shephard their hearts.

To show them how to overcome obstacles.

Even if that obstacle shows up as a sibling.

I'm frustrated with negative reinforcement, so I went for the positive route.

Enter: the get along surprise box.

This is something I've wanted to get for the boys for a few years now, and I think they're both ready for it.


I since it's a larg(er) purchase, I wanted them to earn it.

And earn it, they shall.

We're about ten days in so far....

When I first brought it out, I posted it on facebook in an effort to solicit support.

I was amazed that other moms out there are as frustrated as I am.

(Once again, the perils of facebook....comparing your behind-the-scenes to everyone else's highlight reel)

Here's what I learned in the past ten days:

1.  It's helpful to have some parameters for this box before you set it out.
2.  Let your husband know what they are so he doesn't take the box away for something that would have been allowed by you.
3.  Make it ONLY about getting along with each other.  If you want to deal with something else (like not listening to mom or dad), create a new box.  One thing at a time.
4.  Create an atmosphere for success, but simple guide lines.  Here's ours:

  • You get ONE warning.  ONE.  Anymore that that, the box doesn't get checked for the day.
  • Remind them that the slate is washed clean every morning, and they have a new opportunity for success the next day.
  • Decide a which level you want to interfere.  I usually let them go for a few minutes to see if they'll work it out my themselves.  After all, that's the whole point of this exercise, right???
  • The one thing that received NO warning is hitting.  (or kicking, or pushing....).  Physical force while angry is NOT allowed.  This will automatically result in loosing the box for the day (in addition to a time out and loss of screens for the day).
  • The days to NOT have to be 5 consecutive days.  I want them to succeed BEFORE they move out of my house.  :)
  • Celebrate the success of a box marked off.  Ask them what they did to make sure the box got marked.  Success breeds success.

We have one day left. 

One day.

Here's hoping a week at camp will help that along!

I can't WAIT to show y'all what's in the box!!!

1 comment:

"Sew" Willow Designs said...

What a fantastic idea! I struggle with the girls during summer vacation. I will have to call you tomorrow and get more insight on this great idea!