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.
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?