Thursday, December 6, 2012

Parenting Outside the Box

As parents there is no right or (completely) wrong answers. We have learned over the past five (and a half if you ask the oldest) years that we need to do what works for our kids. And that even varies between the two of them. I think we have tried everything, but we have finally found something that seems to work for both. We have a "Caught You Jar". We fill the jar with "Caught You Balls" (cotton balls) when we catch them being good.

"Caught You" behavior can be as simple as we notice they have been playing well together for a while, one or both of them has excellent behavior at the grocery store (yeah, my favorite place to go with kids...), they do what is asked the first time it is asked, etc. They LOVE being "caught"!

We have found that rewarding good behavior works much better for us that punishing bad behavior. Don't get me wrong, we still have to dole out the punishments on occasion, but positive reinforcement seems to be the key. I'm sure many of you are saying "duh", but we each learn our own ways, in our own time!

The Caught You jar has been filled several times and the reward is a fun family activity.  By far, the favorite activity so far is "hotel night". My kids LOVE to go to hotels and have been to several in their short lives (lucky kids!). However, we don't have the funds to go to hotels all that often, so my creative husband came up with hotel night. We make pizza, have a picnic in the family room, watch tv during our picnic, eat cookies, then all sleep on the floor in the family room.

Seems simple enough right? As adults, we sometimes forget the joy in the little things. Kids are great for reminding us to take the simple pleasures out of life. It's not always about the big things. It's not (always) about spending lots of money. It's about thinking outside the box.

I try to remember to slow down, enjoy life and see it through their eyes as much as possible. They grow too fast as it is!

What type of ideas do you have for Parenting Outside the Box?


15 comments:

  1. I absolutely love this idea!! I'm a full time nanny, and I do a "caught being good chart" for the oldest two. When I see them doing great things they get a tallying, and once they have 10 I take them to the dollar store and they pick a toy of choice! I also do a chore chart for them which works really well to get them to have age appropriate responsibilities! It works well!! Have a great day! Spa <3

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    1. Thanks, Jenna! Dollar store is a great idea too since kids love buying things.

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  2. I love this idea! We are really struggling with our almost 3 year and always looking for new ideas, I think reinforcing good is so much better then punishing bad

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    1. Thanks! Hope you can find some things that help. 3 is such a...fun?...challenge?...yes, definitely both!

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  3. That's a great idea! I do a rewards chart for my daughter to track her violin practice time. I let her pick the rewards and then she gets to redeem practice points as she accumulated them. It's worked great and she's extra motivated because she's the one who came up with each reward. :)

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    1. I like that idea, Jennifer! We may have to try that out in the future for things like lessons, etc.

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  4. What a great way to spend quality time with your family and make memories for your children. Personally, my favorite time of the day is dinner. I always cook a meal and we always sit down and eat together. We play different games like "I am". We go around the table and say something positive about ourselves.. like "I am funny" "I am kind" "I am good a baseball".

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    1. Love that game, Lisa. As the boys are getting older, it may be time to start incorporating that into our dinners. I agree, family dinner is VERY important to me.

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  5. What an awesome idea! I'll have to remember that and try it with my son.

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  6. So glad I found your blog! Fantatic tips... we are definitely more interested in rewarding the good than punishing the bad with our 3 year old. And she responds so much better to it. That 'hotel' night is too cute. I would have loved it as a kid!

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    1. Thanks, Laura, welcome! :) Parenting is so much trial and error, isn't it?

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  7. What a fantastic idea!!!

    This is the third time. If the captcha thing still says I'm a robot, I give up!

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  8. Thanks, mandy! And sorry you had so much trouble. Scary part is I had no idea the captcha was turned on. Need to find out how to turn it off!

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  9. found you on I Heart Running! following you, follow me back..
    http://fashionwithfitness.blogspot.com/

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