Ramblings from my life…

The wonder of a chart…

Kids thrive on repetition. Routines are what make the day go smoothly and bedtime rituals pleasant. Sometimes just repeating things doesn’t always work – and that is when said chart comes in handy.

I’ve used charts for just about everything. Potty training being one of them. Both children had a sticker chart for each time they did the deed in the potty. After 6 stickers, they would get a prize (either a cheap toy or chocolate). When Pig Will was having nightmares around 2 and a half, I started a “I slept all night in my big girl bed” chart (along with some “monster go away spray”) – and each time she got 6 stickers for sleeping all night in her own bed, she’d get a prize. Same thing when we moved to the new house and the other child, Pig Me Too started night waking. My mother-in-law helped me start charts for good behavior and obeying, going to school without crying, cleaning up toys, etc…

The other day I was in the toy store and saw “The Responsibility Chart” – a wooden magnetic board with around 25 chores/responsibilities on it. Included on the chart is “no whining, keep your hands to yourself, no teasing (or nanny-nanny as we call it)…. along with the usual “clean up your room, pick up toys, help with chores, set the table”, etc…

The girls have been such a joy the last few days since this minor purchase. Rushing to clean up toys at the end of the day. Helping to feed the dog, set the table… and the biggest one – say please and thank you without being asked! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given a child something and had to say… “now, what do you say?” after waiting for a few minutes for them to say it on their own. Pig Me Too is taking cues from Pig Will. She will see her doing something and go help her.

Now, I’m not saying that we haven’t had our share of “she pinched me” and “I’m telling!” going on… but life has been a bit healthier, quieter and just plain out nicer lately. Thank goodness for charts!

On another note, today is our Golden Retriever’s birthday, he is 6 years old (or 42 in dog years). He was our “practice” baby that we were going to practice with for a few years. Pig Will is 5 years old… you do the math. Happy Birthday Rusty!


4 responses

  1. mommie

    lets hear it for the charts!!!

    June 6, 2007 at 12:31 pm

  2. Amber

    That is so funny we did talk about the exact same thing! Glad the chart is working for you guys! I hope it continues too. Nickles are the way to go, I say… cheep for me, like gold to a five year old who’s goal is a matchbox car! lol! It is good too because then we can put some in a tithe jar, some in a savings, and some into free spending money. Works great!

    June 6, 2007 at 5:50 pm

  3. Happy birthday, Rusty, the practice baby! And good job, girls!! I feel better that other people have also practiced on their dogs. I felt silly/ridiculous the other day when a mother of the 10 (yes, that’s not a type, 10) most delightful children I’ve ever met asked me if we’d been blessed with children yet and I replied, “No, we’re still just practicing on the dogs.” She was kind and just replied, “Oh, I’ve heard that can be good practice.”

    June 10, 2007 at 11:03 pm

  4. dana

    I’m taking notes!

    June 11, 2007 at 12:52 pm

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