Monday, March 28, 2016

From Incentives to Self-Discipline

For the last several months, we've been implementing a 'ticket' system which has been tremendously changed the behavior in our boys. Go to bed on time? You get a ticket? Finished your homeschool work for the day? Ticket!! Good in the store? Tickets all around!  Then they can trade their tickets in for movie time or in the 'mommy store.'

It's all be hunky dory, until...

I realized my kids have absolutely no self-discipline. Is this how I want my sons to behave as they get older? To only do anything because there's a carrot at the end of the stick? How about just doing the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing? Because they simply want to feel more accomplished? What about feeling like they're part of something bigger than themselves and they want to continue helping humanity better itself? I know they're still young, but more than anything else in the world, I want my sons to grow up to be morally and emotionally sensitive men. I don't care a wit about them being 'accomplished' in an academic or professional sense, as long as whatever they do is their way of making the world a better place and being gentle and kind while doing it.

So, I'm no longer going to live in the moment of bad behavior. We're living for the future!

Here's the new plan, and I'll update you as our little experiment takes place!

Step One: New, Unbendable Rules

  1. Upon waking up, brush your teeth, tidy your bedroom and get dressed BEFORE breakfast
  2. No TV (Netflix/Amazon) except on weekends - this does not include Family Movie night we have twice a month on Tuesdays Hopefully this will change when I feel the kids choose for themselves not to try and binge watch Ninjago episodes.
  3. Everyone brushes their teeth at 8pm and must be in their rooms (except on Shabbos or holidays)

Step Two: Make Goals
We're going to make Yearly, Monthly, Weekly and Daily Goals

Step Two: Make Step to Achieve those goals
My husband and I will help the kids take steps to figure out how they're going to accomplish their own goals.

Step Three: Don't give up!
My job as their mom will be to guide them towards their goals and help them stay on track

So what the heck are we going to do with all of those tickets I laminated? We're going to try an optional Chore Chart with payment in tickets. These are for going above and beyond what we normally expect of the kids. I must not allow myself to fall back to bribing the kids what should be normal, acceptable behavior with tickets!

Wish us luck!!