We just completed the last week of our 21 day habit forming project: keeping bedrooms clean and neat. It was fun to watch the kids work together to gain points. I thought it might turn in to more of a competition, but instead the children ended up helping each other out. Yay!
The bait on the end of the hook was a trip to Starbucks with Dad and Mom.
As the final week went on, three of the kids had an even amount of points, but my littlest princess was lagging behind a bit.
“Hmmm… maybe I should mess their areas up a bit! ” she schemed.
Fortunately, her siblings had a more gracious approach and encouraged her to find some extra areas in the house to straighten, in hopes of gaining a few more points.
I love the fact that they all wanted to go together!
So… last night at 8:00 we all left the house to have a late night run to the coffee shop and had hot chocolates for everyone!
A special thank you to Uncle Mark and Aunt Merry for the Starbucks gift cards!
Will the rooms be forever clean now???
I think not, but no doubt, we have raised the standard for what is acceptable.
This is what we had for breakfast this morning. It was so good and prettier than my picture shows. If you, like me, are attempting to eat nutritious food that tastes great, this is worth a try.
Garbanzo Bean Flour Pancakes:
1 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbs olive oil
1 cup buttermilk (or water)
I simply combine all of these ingredients together and mix until smooth. It’s easy to adjust the liquid to make a little thicker or thinner. Fry on a greased griddle just like a normal pancake. This recipe makes about 20 small pancakes (I usually multiply it for our family).
Today we served sauteed kale, tomatoes, and onions over the cakes with gently fried eggs and sliced avocados.
We’ve used the same batter as a base for a variety of uses: muffins, quick breads, the base for an egg bake… so many options!
This takes a bit more effort than a bowl of boxed cereal, but the benefits are worth the extra effort! With the help of the kids in the kitchen, we can have this breakfast on the table in 1/2 hour.
This is Sully. Mark and I gave Sully to Yetta, our in house photographer, for Christmas. While Yetta is gone at work all day, Sully provides us with lots of entertainment! Today while we were deep into our English Grammar studies, the kids were just beginning to grasp the definitions of conjunctions and interjections, when Sully figured out how to open the door of his cage. It was quite a process to watch as he swung back and forth a few times before realizing he was free.
This is Skippy. He adopted us a few months ago. Skippy is the most loving cat I have ever seen. We don’t allow Skippy to come inside so he sits on the window sill, outside. He watches us when we eat breakfast, lunch, and supper – longing to be let in.
Sully seems to be smugly aware of Skippy’s situation. His first destination stop this morning was the very window sill that Skippy enjoys, only on the inside. I’ve never seen a bird play hide and seek before, but Sully appeared to be having a great time ducking behind the wood trim and emerging again in full view of Skippy.
Poor Skippy, Sully was so close, yet so far!
The kids worked hard yesterday afternoon. They conquered their bedrooms and each received a full 5 points!
Remember the original goal? To change a habit by gently molding, encouraging, and having fun. This doesn’t mean that the work was necessarily fun for them, but the outcome was worth the work.
The hardest part is over, now their desire for points will help to drive
the desire to maintain. Throughout the process, the self discipline naturally grows!
The target area I chose for my positive “molding experiment“, was the children’s bedrooms. Yesterday I told you we had instant success, and that is true, but you would think I was crazy if you actually walked into their rooms. The bedrooms were ten times worse than before we started!!! I tried not to laugh as I looked for something to complement them on. They were so excited!
I had given them each 5 focus points on their chart. So, each evening they have the potential of filling all 5 squares. The challenge is for 21 days, but to keep them motivated, I broke it up into 7 day sections. Whoever has the most points after the first 7 days gets to make a dessert of their choice.
I assumed they would try to conquer all 5 areas right away to receive 5 points. Instead, they simply made their bed look great! Then… started emptying closets. Today the little girls were so excited to show me their clean closet. Beautiful! They had done a super job, but boy oh boy, the floor was a disaster! The boy’s room was very similar; they also were digging deeply. Unfortunately, I couldn’t give them a point for a job half done. I made sure to notice the nicely made beds and let them know I was confident they would achieve a full closet point tomorrow after they put away all the things they pulled out of the closet! In a house with a bundle of kiddos, a bit of competition also comes into play. Their enthusiasm is contagious and is motivating me as well!
Hats off to all of you that have picked up the challenge!
Without mentioning anything to the children, I drew up the simple charts I referred to in yesterday’s post. They walked in just as I was trimming off the extra paper. Since they love crafty projects, they were immediately interested in whatever I might be doing. I didn’t say much, just asked them for some fun paper stock to use as a back ground. Within moments they were back with their favorite picks helping me tape the charts on the wall.
They weren’t sure what I was up to, but the excitement was building rapidly! I hardly said a thing other than making sure the youngest could read the few words on the chart.
Full of enthusiasm, they asked if they could start right away!
Day 1 : SUCCESS!
One of the things I love about young children is how mold-able they are. It’s true that some children may have a stronger will and more determination than others, but that’s not all bad. They need to be guided in positive ways.
Anyone up for doing a “molding” experiment with me?
I am going to try to help a few of my kiddos change some negative habits that have been forming. My goal is to make it fun and help them catch the spirit. Charts and stickers have worked well with my little ones, so that’s the method I’ll use and extend it for 21 days. Supposedly that’s how long it takes to make or break a habit.
I’ll let you know how the progress goes.
Resource: “Children are Wet Cement”