I have two new systems for you – just in time for the holidays.
Last month, I felt like there was some disarray in our home.
Lots of bickering. Lots of complaining. A lot of laziness. A little bit of entitlement.
I am sure this never happens in your home …. but just in case (wink, wink) I thought it would be a good idea to share what is working for us.
This system is going to forever replace our method of allowance and chores.
It works. It is simple to keep track of, and it gets the kids to get the job done.
It also reinforces responsibilities and behaviors that they will need to succeed as adults.
I first read about this system in Erin Harrison’s book Living Virtuously – A Wife’s Complete Guide to Keeping Her Heart & Home.
After first glance, I felt like it could work in our home. So off to work I went.
I first grabbed the free printable that Erin offers on her blog Keeper of the Homestead.
With my new currency in hand, it was time to sit down and think of the ways to earn and spend these mom bucks.
I created two charts: Earning Mom Bucks and Spending Mom Bucks.
For the earning chart, I thought of my two most important activities I want the kids to do more of and placed those at a value of 3 mom bucks. For my rowdy boys, it was playing board games and working a big puzzle together.
Everything else then is 1 mom buck.
You can grab this chart at Faith Filled Parenting.
The next chart was how the kids could spend the Mom Bucks.
Again, I gave the activities I wanted them to do the least the most value. ipad, movie, TV all are 3 mom bucks per 30 minutes.
Everything else is worth one mom buck.
A couple of notes:
- I started to make my kids pay 1 mom buck for snacks that are not fruit or veggies. I find my kids eat more of the meals I prepare when they have to work for the snack rather than just grabbing it.
- I also have the right to take away mom bucks at any time. Bad attitude, disrespect, fighting with siblings all require the loss of mom bucks.
This chart is also available at Faith Filled Parenting.
I sat down with the kids and explained our new currency and method.
They each started out with 20 mom bucks.
I know, I know that sounds like a lot, but I know my kids.
I wanted them to gain confidence in the system so they would work hard and give it a try.
And it worked!
The kids love this system. It holds them accountable. It holds me accountable. And it keeps our home running smoother.
You need to try this system!
My Day, Your Day
This idea was born from a place of despair and honestly, guilt.
Now I am always telling my readers to let go of mommy guilt. Throw it out the window.
But in this instance, I think it was the right kind of convicting guilt.
As a mom of five children, it was difficult to remember everything.
When it was time for the kids to make a choice or a decision, I seemed to rashly choose the person who had the best day.
Soon I began to realize that this was the same two kids over and over.
While the other three sometimes more stubborn, a little more wild, and not as obedient children were never getting a chance to choice.
This was not right, and I knew that all my kids needed the chance to make a decision in our family.
My day, your day is a simple concept. Every day has a name attached to it.
When there is a decision to be made, we just look at the calendar, see whose day it is, and the problem is solved!
This system is so simple to implement.
I pray that these systems will bless your family as you grow together on his journey of life.
How do we gain balance in this digital world?
The hard fact is that electronics are not going anywhere.
In fact, the digital world will just continue to grow.
As parents, we cannot just stand back with our arms crossed mad at the digital world our children have inherited.
Or maybe you feel like the digital world is an ingenious advancement, but you want just a little bit of guidance on balance.
There it is.
The key word balance.
One day I was done with fighting with my kids over electronics.
I found one son hiding in his room on his iPad under a blanket.
My two year old would yell hi-pad at the top of his lungs all day long.
I just felt like I was losing control.
I needed a plan. One that would work quickly and be easy to implement.
Let me share with you what worked for our family.
Three Ways to Gain Balance in an Electronic World
#1: Use the app OurPact.
I seriously cannot remember how I survived without this app.
OurPact gives you the power.
You control your children’s devices from your phone.
I know. It is amazing.
OurPact allows the parent to balance screen time by blocking Internet and apps at-a-touch or through automated schedules.
In our home, we have the following automated schedule. These are the times that the electronic devices are blocked:
Bedtime: 8 pm – 6 am
School: 6 am – 1 pm
Afternoon time with friends and family: 4 pm – 7 pm
You can sit down and come up with hours that you do not want your kids to have access to their devices.
Our family has also chosen to have one day a week to go completely screen-free and one day a week for unlimited screen access.
But there is more than just scheduling…
You can grant access at any time on your phone for time intervals (think rewarding good behavior).
You can also deny access at any time on your phone (think consequences here).
This app does the work for you, and it is FREE.
Want to know more?
Check out Our Pact right here.
#2: Set Up an Electronics Bin in Your Home
An electronics bin is a home for all devices.
Our bin sits in the pantry (think of your best centralized location).
This bin houses all ipads, phones, and computers.
The big rule: you have to ask before grabbing an electronics device out of the bin.
This allows me to make sure the kids have done their daily reading, schoolwork, and/or chores.
Just like OurPact, this bin is allowing me to make sure my kids are first and foremost taking responsiblity before playing.
One more benefit of the electronics bin: it keeps my husband and I accountable.
Our phones and my computer are placed in the bin. This holds me accountable to only use my phone and/or computer during working hours.
I am more present and involved when my head is not stuck looking down at a screen!
Want more information on the electronics bin? Click here to see the original idea.
#3: Arm Yourself with Knowledge.
Knowledge is key.
Like I said before, electronic devices are not going anywhere.
Arm yourself with resources that will help you navigate the digital world.
Parenting in this digital world is so different.
My top picks for resources:
The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age
Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World
Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age
Arming yourself with information and a plan is absolutely key.
We cannot just hope for the best. Not anymore. There is too much danger, too much information at our fingertips, and not enough time for it all!
Recap: Balance Electronic Life
Imagine a day where you do not have to fight with the glow of the screen.
You are engaged with your children and redeeming time lost.
You feel more peace and contentment because of the family time you have gained.
It can happen. I promise.
Take these three steps:
- Install OurPact and control time spent on devices.
- Use an electronics bin in your home.
- Find resources to gain knowledge and insight.
Which one of these steps do you think will be the most effective in your home?
Comment below and let me know.
Pin this image for future reference:
Parenting today is difficult.
We can spend all day pointing out the reasons parenting in this generation is so hard.
We can point at social media, TV, movies, Hollywood, school systems, government, even the church.
But honestly, we need to be pointing at ourselves.
Parenting today is difficult because parents are not taking a stand.
We have decided to let the world around us dictate how we raise our children.
And I am here to say that it is time to take a stand.
Or why? And where do we even begin? (more…)