Hey this is Kirsten and I thought I would introduce myself since you probably don’t know who is contributing to this blog, but I am one of the crafters on this site and there are about 6-8 of us that contribute to this blog….we all LOVE LOVE LOVE to make fun new things and started this to share some of our ideas with each other and with you. Most of us are from Utah, Brooke is MY cousin, Jamie, is one of my old neighbors and dear friends, both AMAZINGLY AWESOME crafters. Coming up here soon, we will have more information about each of us….as for me, I have 4 kids-3 boys and a girl ages…BOY-5, BOY-4, BOY 3 1/2, GIRL 1 so I don’t have a whole lot of time to make things, although I usually find time because it’s a complete outlet for me. I am 29 and I am a professional photographer and have been for 9 years now, you can’t tell by some of the pics I post but use your imagination :). I love to digiscrap and am addicted to Photoshop a little more than I like to admit. Two of my favorite crafters are Jamie and Brooke, they are unreal as you have seen here. We frequently SHRIEK when we are together because we get really excited about making things…a little too excited sometimes Don’t let this picture fool you because I really am a total NERD, and GOOFBALL….so beware. Thanks for checking out our blog, we love all of our readers, ENJOY!! You can check out my personal blog at lifeatthewrighthouse.blogspot.com
I went to a mother’s retreat last weekend that was a lot of fun. Twice a year they have this retreat at their cabin and focus on a different parenting/mothering topic each time. This time they brought in a professor from BYUI to present on the book, How To Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children, it was really great. I learned a lot of little things that will make our house run more smoothly. One of the most helpful things for me was learning (through a quiz) how I help my kids deal with (or not deal with) emotion….anger sadness…and then learned how to help kids “process” their emotions, a pure golden nugget that has really really helped the peace and patience in our home in the last week. I am reading the book right now, and it’s very very helpful, and has shifted my paradigm a lot already.
I was lucky enough to present a section on Incentives/Goal setting for kids/Proactive Parenting Ideas…these are some of the ideas that I presented (don’t I sound official :)…
THE MARBLE JAR-these are two mason jars as you can see. This incentive is a family team effort. When the kids do EXTRA good things-going to EXTRA mile, I put a marble in the other jar. As a family we decided that when all the marbles are in the other jar, we get to go and ride the “BUS TRAIN”. They can’t ask for a marble, Dave and I just have to OBSERVE them doing something extra special. Bennett has been earning most of these marbles because he decided to go potty on his own, so each time he goes #2 he gets to put three marbles in the jar. The other boys have earned some from doing things like obeying EXTRA quickly, helping a brother or sister and being EXTRA patient, or for being extra obedient for babysitters (ok that last one was wishful thinking). I take marbles out on occasion for disobedience, but mostly just focus on the positive and on filling it up.
This is the PUFFBALL JAR. I tried this one on Porter when he was almost 3. He decorated the jar with stickers I knew he would love, and each time he went potty, he got to 1)pick a puffball out of the puffball bag, and 2)put it in the jar himself. We watched as he filled it all the way up. It helped us both be positive with each other and helped him set a goal to fill it up. I think he got a sucker when it was all filled, although picking puffballs and filling it up were the best rewards.
THIS IS OUR TREASURE BOX. It is filled with little trinkets like things from the Target dollar section-socks, stickers, or Hot Wheels cars, candy necklaces, gum, ring pops, and different things from time to time. We use the treasure box for a variety of different incentives. In the last couple months, I had the boys earning stars. I would keep track of the stars in my head, or you can keep a chart. Keeping track in my head made it more versatile. They get to pick a treasure box if they earn 10 stars. The boys earn stars for doing different things like:
-getting chores done before school (Porter only),
-obeying extra extra quickly,
-if they are having a hard time with something, I give them a star for progressing in that area. For example, Mason was having a hard time going to preschool without missing me for the first couple of weeks, so to help get over this, I would give him a star if he went with a brave attitude. He got over this quickly.
-sometimes I give stars if I am trying to go somewhere extra quickly and I need extra cooperation.
-they can never ask for a star, I just have to observe them doing these things. I keep the treasure box up high so they can’t get into it and they can only look in it if they have earned a treasure box prize.
This is their favorite thing.
BINGO CARDS…this is a fun idea that Cousin Brooke found. I designed a DEC one and you can print it out and laminate it and you put some fun activities down that you want to do for the week or for the whole month, and put a sticker or check them off when you do them, and give the kiddos a treat when you get Bingo and blackout. On my December card I will put things like: visit Temple Square, take treats to a neighbor, go caroling, make sugar cookies, do a service for a brother or sister, etc etc. It’s a fun way for me to get all the fun things in that we want to do for the month.
Cousin Brooke was a great Vanna White and idea adder at this point, thanks Brooke.
I hope you can use some of these ideas in your home, they really help ME be more positive with the kids, and it’s fun to see them EARN things, and REACH their goals. Let me know how they work for YOU. THANKS!!!