Five weeks into the summer holidays with lots of long road trips and I was feeling a bit broken. Constant whining, squabbling, mess and refusal to follow instructions and I was done. So I decided to reinstate REWARD CHARTS - can you tell I'm a teacher?
So I made a very basic chart and decided upon three 'targets' for Mia and four for Ellis (as he's older!) to address the behavior issues that were cropping up. His were about not hitting his sister, following instructions first time, no tantrums and to write three sentences a day (very reluctant writer over here!). Hers were no hitting her brother (do you see a pattern emerging here?), to not take her brothers' toys and to brush her teeth nicely. Teeth brushing was a particularly grueling and harrowing process of pinning her down and lots of screaming which we dreaded every evening. Each day they would get a tick if they achieved each target. Mia is only two and a half but she willingly let me brush her teeth for the first time ever in return for her tick - we were onto something here!
If they got the majority of ticks they got a smiley face for that day and if they got enough smiley faces they got a treat at the end of the week. On the whole it worked and Ellis was definitely more willing to write (he has a holiday scrapbook project which has been lingering all holidays) and the change in Mia's attitude to teeth brushing was remarkable. Although Mia did earn her reward quicker than Ellis as he had a few 'grumpy' days.
In perfect timing for the reward I was sent some 'Ready 2 Robot' toys to review. Ellis was delighted with them as they involve three of his favourite things:-
1) Blind bags (thanks for this Youtube!)
2) Slime- it comes in a little capsule at the top of the plastic pod with the robot's head inside. Mia really enjoyed playing with this as you can see in the picture above.
3) Construction (as you have to build the robots)
Of course his favourite thing of all was the index showing all the different robots you could collect. He's already begging for another one so it could turn out to be an expensive 'freebie' for us! They are available to buy from Smyths and there are even some mystery ones - which Ellis is keen to get his hands on.
He has sat for hours building them and they accompany him in the car (not recommended with all the small parts), to soft play, to the farm and his karate teacher even got to hear about all the inner workings of his robots and which ones he hoped to get next time!
What techniques and ideas do you employ to keep your kids from killing each other in the holidays?
* I was sent these to review but all opinions included are my own. *