Thursday, August 23, 2012

Smart Chart

After what I would call GIVING UP on Monday, it seems my brainy husband put some thought to the situation we had found ourselves in - again.

Last year, our youngest son, Cadyn, went through a pretty hideous time.  He hit a wall at school, which then reverberated through our home, as he hit not only walls but anything else he could possibly cry at, throw himself on the ground at or yell at.  It was a living hell.  We ended up getting some great help for him, and he was assessed for a number of things.  Turns out he is one of the millions in the world who suffers from lives with anxiety.  I crossed out the suffering part because I don't like to think that his life is going to be full of suffering - so we'll try to help him to live with it instead....

Back to Monday......It had become very apparent, blatantly obvious actually, that Cadyn's anxiety had raised its ugly head again.  Who would have thought?  A new home, new school, new friends, ongoing renovations etc etc would be enough to do anyone's head in - but throw in some anxiety - and whallah! Melt-down!  Cue the giving up part.  Andrew was at the end of his tether too.  Except instead of him throwing his hands up in the air and crying, like someone I know, he must have stayed awake Monday night, and by the morning told me he had a plan.  Fabulous.  He would go to work and get together a routine/chores chart - with incentives.  Cool.

We have done rewards charts in the past.  With varying success.  But one thing we know about Cadyn is that he is rather goal orientated.  So why not give it another crack?  Later that morning, Andrew emailed me his "first draft".  I did giggle.  Past reward charts have been put together with some poster paper, textas, a ruler and some star stickers.  Nooooooo, not this one.

It's a spread sheet.........

I gave him a little of my input, but basically left it up to him to sort out.  What we were presented with (and I do not say presented lightly - it was a boardroom presentation, with the dining room being our boardroom - I was President) was a very well thought up and executed spread sheet.  On very big size paper.  Laminated.  Impressive.

Andrew dives in to his spiel explaining the dynamics of said chart and asks for the kid's participation.  Cadyn and Chelsea both eagerly start reading out the different parts of the chart, whilst I stood behind Andrew giggling at his spread sheet genius.  I did stop and ask the kids if they actually understood what the word "dispute" meant?  Nope.  A few small explanations later and the charts made perfect sense - even Chloe had some sort of idea!

One point I did dispute, was the monetary value put on receiving a day full of ticks - with no crosses (very technical).  Each child has the opportunity to earn a dollar for every day they achieve all of their possible ticks.  I queried Andrew's maths abilities and asked him if he realised how much money that adds up to over a four week period for four kids?  $112!!!!!!!!!!  He reassured me there was no way that all four kids could achieve perfection for four weeks in a row.  We shall see.

Our new system was rolled out Tuesday night.  And much to my amazement, there has been an almost full 360 degree turn around!  I have children offering their services left, right and centre.  I see the mechanics ticking over in their little heads as they begin to dispute argue/annoy me, before stopping themselves in their tracks and reverting to angels.  I am certain we will not be sent bankrupt by our scheme, but I am also very certain that it's something we will be sticking with.  Oh, and I CANNOT WAIT to see the look on Lochie's almost 14 year old face when he sees his delightful chart stuck on his wall when he returns from his Dad's house this week!

So - how do you reign in your kid's behaviours?  Are you a poster paper or spread sheet kind of parent?

1 comment:

  1. For the older kids the hubs and I like to get a little creative, my favorite is 2 years ago when we had them going for months that if they didn't behave Jule's (the hubs) was going to wear a mankini to the Christmas concert....shut them up every time. Until my daughter cried and begged him not to, tears = joke over.


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