Friday, July 6, 2012

the abc's

Sometimes I surprise myself with my sheer brilliance. It doesn't happen often - but when it does, I'm pretty tickled about it! Yesterday I posted about our newly updated Boredom Jar and today I'm adding on to that by bringing you the rest of the jars.

I present to you...our ABC jars! I just came up with these additional ideas Wednesday evening while admiring our newly made B jar.

I'll start with the C - just to be different! The C jar is our Chore Jar. I don't actually have this one filled with anything yet, but next week I hope to fill it with small chore ideas. The goal will be that every day the girls each have to pick a popsicle stick from the Chore Jar and do it - without grumbling! They will be small things, like wiping down baseboards in a particular room or cleaning the bathroom mirrors.

The B jar, of course, you know what that is - the Boredom Jar. I have been debating on tweaking it a little bit but I'm not quite decided yet. I have read on other blogs where they do a similar thing but they actually mix up the items in their boredom bucket. Some items are fun things and other items are chore items. Basically the reason for this is that it prevents them from complaining about being bored too often - they never know what they're going to pick out of the bucket! It could be something like jump on the trampoline or it could be picking weeds for 10 minutes. It makes them weigh the pros and cons of even saying they're bored since they never know what they're going to get. While I like the idea of that, I'm hesitant to make the change for two reasons.

#1: My goal for the summer is to eliminate [or at least lessen] any negativity around the house. That means do my best to keep the girls from whining. This isn't to say that I don't think they need to just have fun constantly. But I do like the idea that when they're just looking for something to do - especially when I'm busy and can't help entertain them - they can simply pick out a suggestion and get to it. Everything in the jar are things that they like to do, so complaining should be kept to a minimum. Basically I'm trying to make things as easy on myself as possible!

#2: And we already have the chore jar. I'm thinking rather than mixing chores into the Boredom Jar on top of the Chore Jar that I leave things as is. BUT if they do complain about the activity they pick from the Boredom Jar...THEN I'll make them pick something out of the Chore Jar (in addition to the daily chore they will already have to do).

This brings me to my A jar - possibly my favorite jar out of the three...which is why I saved it till the end! This is our Attitude Jar. Let me explain how this works.

The one thing that is most important to keep in mind with this jar is that it is not a punishment jar. This isn't for when things are getting out of hand, out of control and we're all driving each other crazy. Rather, this is to prevent that from happening. If the girls are starting to develop a bad attitude, or are not listening the first time, or I can tell they're starting to get a bit wrangy or upset with each other and disaster is possibly around the corner - I just call out "A Jar!" and they pick something out of the jar.

Again, these things are not punishments. They are just little things for them to do to re-focus their attention/energy on something else; a simple distraction. Some of the things I have come up with so far in this jar are: Do 20 jumping jacks, run around the house 3 times, do 10 bum slams on the trampoline, hug your sister, put a pair of your shoes on and off 5 times, take 10 deep breaths, count to 100, sing your ABC's, do a silly dance for 1 minute, hop on one foot for 30 seconds....things like that. They need to all be short things so that even if we're just getting ready to sit down for dinner or about to head out the door they can still complete a task.

And the sheer brilliance of it is that it actually works! We made the A & C Jars yesterday morning and put the A jar into effect immediately and it works wonders! The girls walk over to the A jar, read their 'assignment', give a little giggle and complete the task. By the time they're finished, they forgot what had sent them to the A Jar to begin with!

Here is what Joelle had to do yesterday right after supper: Draw a picture of your family. By the time she was finished, do you think she remembered that she was just getting ready to pick a fight with her sister? Nope!
So there you have it! Our ABC Jars. Just one more thing to help keep things running smoothly in our household over summer...and beyond!

3 comments:

pam said...

Great ideas! I love all the jars. :) I'll have to keep these in mind for when our kids are a bit older.

TammyIsBlessed said...

I pinned this on pinterest! ;)

john meralaskd said...

Regarding all aspects the blog was perfectly nice.