The boys helped me make waffles this morning, and Clara didn’t want to be left out.
We’ve started a couple new charts on our kitchen chalkboark, one for obedience and one for (not) complaining. The obedience one is new this morning, and we have some kinks to work out, but the basic idea is every time I ask the boys to do something, they get either a smiley face or a grumpy face, depending on how they respond. There will be some sort of reward and/or withholding of privileges depending on how the count stands at the end of each day. I’m thinking something to do with more stories or later bedtime; I haven’t quite decided yet. The complaining chart has been going on for a few days now, and it was a stroke of brilliance, if I do say so myself. If the boys complain — about turning off the TV, about what we’re eating for lunch, about whatever — I simply put an X on the board under the complaining one’s name. If they continue to cry about the X, they get another. Two Xs is usually enough to put a stop to it because at three Xs, they lose their privileges (usually screen time), and five Xs means no privileges tomorrow either. No Xs at the end of the day yields a treat of some kind. It has all but put an end to my threatening (and then having to follow through) and to my pleading with them to stop whining/complaining/crying. Depending on my mood and tolerance level, I can hand out Xs fairly liberally or I can be less strict without sacrificing consistency.
So far this has been a four smiley face, one X sort of morning.