Wednesday, October 24, 2012

keeping the peace.

each day the kids wake up and clip a clothes pin with their name onto the sun. depending on their ability to be kind and loving, and to put the good of the family first (through obedience to mom and dad) they move up or down on the scale. rainbows are especially hard to get. and so are frowns.

the goal in adopting the system was for them to become self-aware and ultimately more capable of being peace-makers. the benefits we've seen are many. really, i'm the one becoming more aware.

1. tracking their progress has helped me to see that they are generally nice kids.

2. we spend less time using our voices for negative critique, simply silently moving their name to indicate that they're not making the kindest choices. they aren't tuning out when we begin to speak as often.

3. i have been able to recognize patterns of behavior that are specific to each child. i've been more organized and deliberate in preemptively meeting their unique needs, the moment negative behavior begins.

4. there is more peace, even when things are crazy.  we all know it's okay for there to be ruckus, just not rudeness. all of us are becoming very clear on the distinction.

5. they take great pride over their smily faces and rainbows. having a goal has helped them excel, for sure.

6. we start over each evening at 5:30, moving them all back to the sun. this gives us all a chance to let go of whatever happened earlier in the day and just enjoy the family-togetherness.

liam's school teacher uses this system to keep the children and their parents informed about classroom expectations and behavior. after one morning of volunteering i knew this was a perfect fit for our home right now.

hooray for harmony!


Laura said...

That's a great idea! I especially love how you don't have to keep verbally reminding them to be good, because they tune that out so quickly. Is there any reward beyond the pride of getting a sun or rainbow? Any consequences for frowns?

Megan Marie said...

it depends on the day. sometimes, if they're really struggling i will let them know that smiley faces mean we can have hot chocolate together, or that rain clouds mean no more netflix for the day. usually the inner-pride is enough, though. :)

Laura said...

Cool. I just showed it to my kids and my oldest has already drawn it up for us. I think we'll try it. Thanks!

Heather Strasser said...

That is a really good idea! I think I might have to try this with my kids I have been having a hard time trying to figure out what to do.