Giving myself points today for making it to the gym this morning, AND squeezing in some time to unload where we're at in this blog post, AND coming up with the idea to get a babysitter for this evening so that Bart and I can spend some time together (sadly our Valentines day plans were cancelled last month so we're making up for it!).
Why points you ask?
Well, around 4 p.m. yesterday I was getting close to the end of my rope on the child raising front so after my husband came home from work, we came up with this new tool to use in our parenting toolbox. Btw- it involves waaaay less drama than time outs and has so far been very effective for our two competitive young boys.
Here's what you do: Get a wipe board/chalkboard/paper + pencil and write your child(ren)'s name on it with 5 points (written like tally marks) under their name. Explain that every day they are given 5 points, but one point is taken away every time a Family Rule is not followed (I made us a Family Rule Chart about 2 yrs ago that I still keep posted up...it lists things like listen the first time, no whining, hitting, or yelling, ask to go outside or in garage, and be nice to your siblings). Doing thoughtful things for their siblings or going above and beyond with something can also earn points. At the end of the day as they're getting tucked into bed and ready to do their show + tell (we always have them do show + tell before stories- they each love having sole attention!), we'll ask them how many points they have left. Bragging rights are HUGE in our house so this is all it took for them to care about it and try their best to follow our Family Rules every day. We'll take it!
Notes on our children:
Benjamin had his kindergarten evaluation this week. Just recently he's become very vocal about how he is sooooo ready for kindergarten and has even tried to have me take him there in the mornings when I tell him it's a preschool day. It feels very special to be experiencing the first of our children to start school (even though we still have 6 more months) and I was so glad I was the one got to take him into his new school for the first time. I could tell he was taking it all just as I did whay back when....asking which desk would be his desk, staring at all the fun things on the walls, asking where the playground is for recess, etc. LOVE that he's at this stage and so eager to keep on learning! He was also sure to share with his teacher and the teacher aides how he has a racing bike and likes to skateboard. That's our Benjamin!
Earlier this week Grant began a Tumbling class on his own. He's actually been taking since Jan. but with his brudder (aka brother). End of last month, Benjamin had officially grown out of it so I told Grant he'd be in his own class now but since these two are so close, I could tell this news was making Grant a bit sad. Benjamin quickly took on the older bro. role and told him he'd stay in his class with him, but I told him we didn't pay for him to be in it this month so Benjamin ran into his room, dumped out all his change in his piggy bank and filled his gym pants pockets up with all his money declaring that he would pay for him to be back in Grant's class! Super sweet of him, but I instead just explained to Grant that we'd all stay today and watch him. ;) It didn't take Grant long to get right in with his new class and the best part was when it was his turn to snake his body through the hula hoop he instead.....jumped through it head first complete with a double somersault at the end! Benjamin, Elyse, and I couldn't help but cheer. That's our Grant!
Elyse is like our little bird. I thought of this similarity one morning when the birds were out singing and she jumped up from eating her breakfast to point outside at them in the trees. Whenever we read books, she likes to point out all the birds while saying "Caw! Caw!" She's also still as light as a feather but always certain which direction she wants to go.....some days it's all about finding out what's in the kitchen cupboards, other days it's chasing after big bro's, other days it's holding her be-be's (baby dolls). Pretty much every day she likes to draw + color! She's also started pointing out letters and sings her very own version of the ABC's. Such a smart and bright young lady with a smile for everyone she sees. That's our Elyse!
- planning out our summer (loving that since Grant will soon be 4 he can now take classes + camps together with Benjamin)
- picking out paint colors to re-paint our family room (last room to remove wallpaper in...hallelujah!)
- looking forward to Easter
- creating G's super fun 4th b-day party
- enjoying the smells of spring
- being present in all the days I have to spend with our kids and feeling so thankful that I can take part in so much with them. Although constantly busy, I know it all counts. I feel this in my heart and soul.