I started a couple of things last week to help my kids with their character training. The ideas came from the Duggars: 20 and Counting book, but I’ve heard of these ideas from various other places, too.
1. Blanket time: I’m training my younger kids to sit on a blanket during our Bible Time. They are to sit on their own blanket on the floor, with one toy or book, and be very quiet. (They get 5 chocolate chips as a reward.)
2. A penny for every "Yes Ma’am.": Last week I kept a pen and paper in my pocket and every time one of the kids said, "Yes, Ma’am" I gave them a mark. Instead of actually giving them the money, I put it in their "account" (in a check register in my purse). On Sunday, they decided how much they wanted to give to the church, and I subtracted it from their account. They’ve really gotten better about the habit of saying, "Yes, Ma’am," so this week if they say it a lot during the day, I give them a quarter in their account (needed to simplify for myself).
3. "I’d be happy to. . ." game: Here is another game to get them into the habit of obeying immediately and with a good attitude. I give them a funny command such as, "Run to the window, see if there are any birds, skip back, and tell me what you saw." Or "Jump to the kitchen, count to 50, and leap back." They say, "Yes, Ma’am, I’d be happy to." When they come back, they get a chocolate chip. Even my 8 yo LOVES this game. He keeps wanting me to do crazier and crazier commands.
4. Helping me control my anger: When I start to get angry, I’ve asked the kids to touch my arm and gently say, "Mom, I think you’re getting angry." It will help me recognize it and stop!
5. I’m re-reading "Managers of Their Chores" (Maxwell) and will get more deliberate about the chores around here. I’ll set up the kids with Chorepacks.