Wednesday, March 21, 2012

creative approach to positive parenting

Parenting school-age children (in fact parenting any age children) can sometimes feel a bit like a car rally.

To manage the variable terrain you need to have a robust and gutsy 'engine' and a tough, all-wearing 'exterior' to manage the stones and assorted other crap that will be tossed up as you negotiate the straights, turns and curves of parenthood.

I could and indeed will (note to self) do a lengthy post of how parenting is a bit like rally driving but for today my focus is on the aspect of parenting/rally driving that you need when you've hit a bit of a bumpy're down in a valley with a long stretch of road ahead of you and the next rest stop is still a few K's down the track.

In our case, a major contributor to this difficult stage is the fact that we don't seem to be able to get the 'car' into fourth gear.  In fact at times it feels like we need the mechanic as we're revving up a storm and it feels like we're still barely out of first gear!

We started the school year full of vim and vigour.  It's a big year for oldest KAT as she's in Year 6.  As a result, she's been garnering lots of attention...lots of activities on her plate and therefore ours.

We've also been focused on a rather lengthy netball grading process for Middle KAT and have resumed swimming, basketball with training and game times needing to be slotted into the weekly schedule.  
As a result of all this 'stuff', our home routine has been in a bit of flux.  Actually, that's probably puttting it kindly....we've been struggling to get out of first gear at home for this entire term. 

Middle KAT in particular does a LOT better with structure and routine.  Both of which have been a bit lacking and as a result her homework is suffering and I'm struggling to get 'buy-in' from her and her sisters on getting them to pull their finger out when it comes to jobs around the house and getting organized in the mornings to get out the door.

Does this sound familiar??  I'm sure it does :)

Anyway, getting back to the rally driver analogy, there was nothing to be gained by pulling over and having a bit of a sob about it.  No, we need to harden up, gird our loins and push on til the next rest stop (which thankfully is not far ahead!)

In order to get there feeling like we can head into the next 'stage' enthused and motivated I decided a rethink on my positive parenting strategies was in order.

Which is where the picture at the top comes in....

................presenting my creative visual aid in the pursuit of a happy household.......................

The Glass Half Full!!!!!!

Glass 'vases' and marbles courtesy of the $2 shop.  Washi tape courtesy of my all time favourite store Pulp Creative Paper.  Pink letters via Fiona Kate

The rules of engagement:
  1. Each girl has a unique color of glass balls (not that I don't trust them but it avoids any pilfering of someone else's marbles!)
  2. Mum and dad are the only ones that can 'award' the balls/marbles
  3. As they reach each 'clip level' they will earn a reward
  4. Ultimate reward for filling up their glass is attendance at horseriding camp next school holidays
  5. balls/marbles can be removed for unhelpful behaviour and indiscretions (I know MEAN mummy!)

I am so pleased with this is a total HIT!  Middle KAT and Youngest KAT are already completely on board and I feel guilty that I started it whilst Oldest KAT was on camp but she will be super motivated when she gets back!!!

I'm even toying with how I can 'commercialise' my idea (first mistake = putting it on my blog for someone to steal???) What do you think?  Would you buy something like this if it was packaged up/safe/not so 'home-made'???


  1. They are so much prettier than a star chart and much easier to remove one.

    I've used basic bribery this term to get Peter to get himself ready for school and do his homework, but at least he's now in the routine. I heard yesterday he's not joining in during sports (they play rugby and he's clueless), so I'm planning to shift the bribes to trying harder in sport!

  2. You won't believe this but... we use 'marbles' as our reward system for about six months. They have things they need to do to get marbles and then mean mummy and daddy can take marbles away (so far this has been threatened only... works).

    They have to fill a whole big jar to win a 'happy ticket'... each happy ticket has a different activity on it for the family to do. So far Max has chosen a trip to the farm, Cappers an afternoon at Manly for fish and chips and the Badoo a ride on the ferry. They are just gorgeous.

    So, yes, I absolutely think you could commercialise this idea!! x

  3. Love this actually looks so pretty who wouldn't want to join in!!!! A visual cue is always a winner I find xx

  4. Great idea Liz. We've started giving H pocketmoney for jobs he does and it's working really well. Defnitely think it could be marketed. What would you call it?


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