Friday, March 15, 2013

One & Done-- A Decorating Urge Meets a Parenting Urge

I can't believe it's been two months since I last posted-- one sixth of a year.  Where does time go?  I am just now recovering from a burst of projects-- six all at once-- a big remodel, several whole house decorating jobs, and a few other "normal" decorating projects sprinkled in.  I had a lot of fun working, but did little else for three months straight, which had an impact on family matters.
I noticed my children weren't quite as receptive to my requests..."Brush your teeth,"  "Put on your shoes," "Do your homework." The usual repeats were being ignored and sending my octaves higher and higher.
Then it hit me.

I instituted a new challenge called "One & Done."
Each time I make a request and they follow through immediately, they get a point on the chart, which hangs front-and-center on the chalkboard in the kitchen.

After they receive 50 points they get to choose from one of these jars, which also hangs front-and-center in the kitchen, just up high-- away from prying hands:

I went to a high-end candy store and spent $50 on candy I probably could have bought at Target for half the price, but I wanted to make a statement that this new challenge was serious and I was taking it seriously. I drove to an official candy store and bought my childhood favorites-- red hots, bubble gum machine gum, lego candy.

A side benefit to this challenge was that I wanted to redecorate my seedling tray kitchen shelf for sometime, swapping out flea market finds for some bursts of color.  I came up with the idea of Bell jars filled with candy at the same time I devised "One & Done." 

So far, it's been one week and is working like a charm. The kids are motivated to score points and I've kept it competition-free. If one gets to 50 first, the other also gets to put his or her hand in the candy jar.  Points cannot be taken away, only added, to keep things positive.  Today, they each scored their first jar opening.  They selected lollipops.

50 times this week my daughter has said "Yes mam" and did what I asked her to do on the first go.  Fingers crossed, they don't lose interest.  It's worth $50 to have a little less talking and far less shouting at home.

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