Friday, July 9, 2010

Changing Bad Habits into Good Habits!

I had a friend post a facebook status update about a new discipline system that she is using. She briefly described some things she is doing and I took those idea's and made a system that is working quite well in my home. I don't know if our systems are the same but I want to make sure to give credit where credit is due!

Our system is called Family Accountability. I love the thought that it isn't just the children who will be accountable in our home but all of us will be accountable. We are accountable to God and each other.

Family Accountability Rules

First you need to set up a list of family rules. Our rules are basic and easy to understand. Here are a few of our family rules. We have 15 all together.

1. No means No. We do not negotiate when we are told No.
2. No fighting with siblings. No hitting, pinching, punching(you get the picture).
3. Chores/Daily Good Habits must be done daily without being prompted. (more to come on this one below)
4. No complaining if you earn a Good Habit Card or you receive a three card penalty. (more to come on this below too).
5. No raising your voice in anger.
6. No fighting with your siblings
7. No more than 30 minutes of electronics time (computer, ipod etc.)

Chores / Daily Good Habits

Next you need to assign chores and daily good habits to each family member. Here are some of our assignments, in reality there are many more on our lists but don't want to bore you too much.

Joy: Exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. Tell your husband that you love him daily(super easy for me to do, he is lovable). One large chore daily like mopping, vacuuming etc.

Caden: Clean cat litter daily, check wastebaskets, gather laundry

Aubrey: Water plants, keep Barbies, markers, crayons and coloring books cleaned up when not in use, always put shoes away in their proper place(if you know Aubrey you know how often this is broken)

Good Habit Cards or GHC

So if you catch your child or they catch you not following family rules or completing your daily chores/ good habits you will have to pick a good habit card. Our goal is to exchange bad habits with good habits hence the name Good Habit Cards. Good Habit Cards have lots of good habits on them. Here are some examples of the approximately 40 cards we have:

1. pull the weeds in the yard
2. vacuum the family room
3. clean out Mom's car
4. Memorize different scriptures (we have about 10 of these in our GHC)
5. Write five good things about________(list different family members)
6. Clean the refrigerator out
7. Dust the living room
8. Grace Given nothing needs to be done (I have 5 in my cards)

So on any given day my children get approximately five GHC's. They have tried hard not to get any GHC's but they can't seem to remember not to fight with each other or that No means NO!


Finally, the kids and adults can earn commissions for receiving no GHC's. They can either save their commissions up or instantly cash them in. We are on a strict budget so we have commissions that have a very low cost. It is also difficult to not earn any GHC's. Here are some examples:

One day with no GHC's pulled:
1. A 20 minute activity alone with either Mom or Dad
2. Your choice of a movie or 15 minutes extra electronics time

Five days with no GHC's pulled:
1. Go get ice cream
2. Pick out of a treasure box

Ten days with no GHC's pulled:
1. Go on a date with Mom or Dad
2. Pick out a toy
3. Mom gets a pedicure if she gets Ten days with no GHC's pulled

It may take my kids a year before they have ten days saved up. Therefore, I am not super worried about doing something big for them.

I hope this didn't confuse you. I hope it gave you some of your own ideas. To sum the system up.

If chores/good habits are not complete your receive a Good Habit Card
If family rules are broken you receive a Good Habit Card
If you don't get any GHC's in a day you can earn rewards / commissions

If you have any other ideas let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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