Wednesday, 31 March 2010
WHO LOVES ANNOUNCEMENTS?!?!
lol well I do! I have had something in the works for a little while now that will hopefully get me fully back into the scrappy swing of things and back into creating regularly. Sometimes it is easy for life to get in the way of the things we love to do and unless there is a driving force, a particular reason or deadline to be met, our hobbies can tend to slide under the mountain of family, work and life in general. I've been busily instilling rota charts, behaviour charts and schedules into my home over the last couple of weeks in preparation for wanting and needing to dedicate more time to my scrapping because now I am scrapping with a PURPOSE! I'll be able to blab over the weekend when I have a bit more time to blog but for now I just wanted to say that I'm back in the saddle and happily creating, with more organisation, more free time to create and a quieter, more orderly home!
March has been a month of change here...and a month of injuries. Lachlann broke a bone in his foot while attempting to get onto his Ripstick (yes the skateboard thingy of doom!) so it was a six hour late night hospital wait for x-rays, crutches, etc. Just as we were about to leave the emergency room he vomited - he's my kid with the delicate stomach and I think the shock and tiredness just got to him. Doug got a lovely alkaline burn while at work which hasn't healed after two weeks still. The kids and I have all been through the regular change of season cold, as well as vomits, and a couple of weeks ago the ganglion on my left wrist swelled up so badly I couldn't type much at all and had to wear a wrist splint for a week and a half. It's all gone now and you'd never know it had even been there - until next time it decides to play up! Blayd is currently away on his very first "man camp". I call it "man camp" cos the chaplain at his school is taking a group of boys all 14/15 in age out into the NSW bush for four days of camping. It's designed to help the boys build self confidence, trust and independence and he was so excited to be going. They had to take everything - AND I MEAN EVERYTHING! - they would need to survive for the four days and had to carry it all themselves. Good thing he's fit lol He comes home tomorrow and I'm sure he'll have heaps of stories to tell.
We've been implementing the charts etc that I mentioned above and it is all going really well. I got most of the charts from a website called http://www.freeprintablebehaviourcharts.com/ and they kids have really taken to them. The best part is they have charts already made up that target some of childrens' most annoying behaviours. Lachlann has a "no arguing" chart and he gets up to three points each day for not arguing with Doug and I, with teachers at school or if we are going out anywhere. He's such a chatterbox and is one of those kids who must have the last word, usually as he is flouncing off to his room to contemplate the indignity and injustice of his life hehe He's done very well and I'm really proud of him. James has a "no tantrum" chart which I really need to print up for his teacher to use at school. He's much better there but it would be good to continue the chart there and at home for consistency. James has a gran who indulges him very much and folds like a house of cards if James so much as whines in complaint so we are giving her a chart to so she can help undo the behaviour she has helped to create! Caeligh has a "no hitting" chart for early mornings and evenings when her medication has worn off and she tends to go a bit feral and get aggressive. It's also going surprisingly well. I've also printed off vouchers for things like "one hour of tv time - you pick the show", " one 50 cent ice cream at McDonalds", "a date night with mum/dad" etc and they are good for rewarding a good day or a good week. I keep them on the fridge so the kids see them all the time. There are also certificates on the website to that I give out once per week for different things but all four kids get one for something they have done in the week. It reinforces that I did notice their good behaviour even if I didn't comment directly on it at the time, and hopefully they realise that sometimes rewards can come later for good behaviour, good jobs, etc, and that they won't need immediate rewards all the time.
We also created a job rota. In our house, because I work such long days and Doug does too, it can be hard to get the basic things done each day. On a busy morning, someone will forget to empty the dishwasher so I can't reload it in the afternoon, or something that needed to be washed hasn't been, etc. So we've made a decision as a family that all six of us are on the job rota, so that way the kids can't say that we aren't helping them (but as any of us parents know, kids have no clue how much work actually does go into running a household and family, and it's a lot more than will fit onto a basic job rota!!!), and we've scheduled all the usual tasks like taking out rubbish, emptying the dishwasher, refilling the dishwasher, rebooting the laundry (emptying the dryer, putting the wet stuff in the dryer and putting dirty stuff in the washer), sweeping the tile floors, vacuuming the loungeroom and bedrooms, folding clothes and putting clothes away. It also stops kids from complaining that "I did that just yesterday - it's someone else's turn!!!" cos they can see when they did a job and that someone else is doing it today instead of them. We rotate all the jobs each day - we all have one job in the morning, one in the afternoon and one after dinner - but it's still only 3 jobs a day each for the kids and so they don't feel overburdened. They have a supplemental chore sheet that they can do if they want extra pocket money, and they've discovered that if they properly complete their three jobs per day, Doug and I don't ask them to do anything else and they have lots more free time, rather than us always asking them to help get things done so they feel like they never get a solid block of play time.
One ongoing drama is the mountain of socks - with four kids there are never-ending battles to find pairs of anything, even when we have what I'm sure is about fifty thousand pairs of white school socks!! How on earth can nobody find a pair of those?!?! So I decided to turn the sock drama into a game. I sat Caeligh down on the floor, put the sock basket between us, loaded with dozens of unmatched socks, and we took half the basket each. I then told Caeligh we were going to play "Go Fish" with the socks. She would hold up a sock and ask me if I had the other one. If I did have it, I gave it to her and she got a point. If I didn't have it, she had to put it to one side and move onto another sock. We must have found thirty or forty pairs of socks in half an hour, all because it was a game and didn't feel like a chore! I'm a little bit proud of myself for coming up with that one. It's not often a child will ask if they can sort the odd socks lol
I'm off to have a play. I bought some really cool big square (like one inch!) black, red and green bling from one of the cheap shops nearby and I also had to buy the apparently necessary barrage of easter themed crap for decorating easter hats for school tomorrow so that ought to be fun! Maybe I can get away with a supervisory role for that job lol
Cheers, Lu xx