Using Rewards versus Punishments

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,

Do you struggle with getting your children on board with their daily routines? Over the years, I have seen much more success with my children following through on their routines when I praise them and reward them.

As children are learning new routines, they need encouragement. If you are fussing at them for not doing their routines perfectly or forgetting something, it causes them to shut down and not want to try.

You need to be clear with your children about what you want them to do, and you cannot expect them to do everything all at once. YOU are doing the baby steps to getting organized. They also need to do baby steps in mastering their routines.

For children, I suggest you start with them getting dressed down to the shoes first thing in the morning. This may mean that you ask them to lay their clothes out the night before, but you can just start today. Tell them to get dressed and ready for the day. Brush their teeth and comb their hair. This will help them to be ready for the day.

They should do this daily for a week. Praise them for getting dressed first thing in the morning.

The next routine is making their beds when they get up. This does not have to be perfect. They just need to pull their covers up fluff their pillows and move on. Some of them may have stuffed animals they arrange.

So the second week, they are laying their clothes out at night, getting dressed down to the shoes, and making their beds.

Some of you are already thinking about how messy their bedroom is, and you are thinking about their stuff that is all over the house.

After they finish their school work for the day, give them a specific instruction to deal with one of these areas. It needs to be a short and sweet mission. Otherwise, they will get distracted and do nothing. You are going to build them up to a 15-minute hot spot clean up session, but these first few sessions might be 5 minutes or so.

For instance, if their room is messy, tell them to bring you all of their dirty clothes and pick up the floor. You might tell them another time to collect any trash. Another mission would be to put their toys away.

If they have a lot of toys, you may need to invest in plastic bins and sort their toys. You can do toy rotation and not allow them to have access to everything all of the time.

Now, let’s talk about their stuff that is around the house. You need to help them corral their stuff. They need a place for all of their things. If they have more stuff than storage, you need to help them declutter.

You can let them have a yard sale of their stuff. They can use the money for a fun activity.

Throughout this process, you have to praise your children. My children know that they need to do their daily routines and school work to get a reward of an activity.

It is rare that I have used negative consequences for them not doing their routines. I do not yell or scream about their routines. If I am calling them to the house from the woods, I will yell for them to come inside, but that is the extent of it.

If you parent them in anger over their routines, they will have negative feelings about their routines. Your goal is for them to encourage them, so they WANT to do their routines.

I always get questions about families with more than one child. Sometimes one child is more willing to do routines than others. If you have a reward planned for everyone, what do you do about the child who is unwilling to do his or her routines? That is a tough one, but sometimes I have had a child sit with me while the others did the activity. I did NOT cancel the whole activity for everyone.

Work on your reward system and put it on the calendar or a chart, so you can keep up with successes and build toward the reward.

Your Zone Mission today is to declutter in the Dining Room.

Your Home Blessing for today is to toss papers and magazines.

My menu plan for Thursday is stir fry.

Have a great day!

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About Tami

Tami Fox is a homeschool mom of 6, who in age from 26 to 11. She and her husband have homeschooled for 17 years and have graduated three of their children from their homeschool. They are currently homeschooling 3 boys who are in grades 11, 9, and 6. They use hands-on learning and unit studies to ignite the fire of learning in their children. Tami is a homeschool author and conference speaker. You can contact her by email at Tami@TamiFox.com. Buy her book, Giving Your Children Wings at http://www.tamifox.net/giving-your-children-wings/.

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