Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Family Rules and Behavior Chart

It's the start of a new season when it comes to our approach on discipline in the Garrett household. Everyone who knows me is aware that I am a pretty relaxed parent. When I am honest with myself, consistency is really not my thing. I am horrible at sticking to my action plan. So this new plan is to help me and them know just what is expected and what will happen if they break the family rules. The inspiration for this plan of action came from two places. First was my children’s school where the behavior chart works very well with my children and the second was a parenting conference that was held at my church, NewSong Woodbine.

First I wrote out family rules that I thought covered all heart issues that lead to behavior issues. After all, I am a firm believer that even in adults all behavior is linked to the heart. I didn’t want the family rules to become overwhelming so I tried to keep it simple enough that even my four year old will be able to learn the ropes. I  also included biblical scriptures  for each of the heart issues for reference. I find this helpful as a Christian parent in explaining the rules to my children.  So, there ended up being six Family Rules:  

Be Obedient Always, which covers most everything when it comes to not listening to your parents. If I have to tell you to put your shoes away 2 times, you are not being obedient and you pull your clip. (Ephesians 6: 1-3) (Colossians 3:20) (Proverbs 1: 8-9) 

Be Respectful. If you put your shoes away the first time, but you are sassing AKA back talking the whole time, you being disrespectful and you will pull a clip.   (Matthew 7:12) (Hebrews 13:17)

Be Honest. If you told me you put your shoes away, but actually you did not, you will pull a clip. No lying or storytelling.  (Proverbs 19:5) (Romans 9:1)

Be Kind. Fighting over a toy or eating the last cookie that your brother wanted is not showing kindness towards one another and is reflects a selfish heart. Your clip will get pulled for those actions. Actually with the example of fighting over the toy both clips will get pull because both are not showing kindness in that example. I do not care who had it first.   (Philippians 2:3) (Ephesians 4:32) (Romans 12:10-13)

Be Helpful. If you are lazy, unproductive, sloppy then your clips can be pulled. Picking up after yourself and even other family members is helpful and expected.   (Philippians 2:4) (Matthew 5: 13-16) (Galatians 6:10)

Show Big Love. This one is very simple, put others before yourself, forgive quickly and apply all the other family rules and this one should fall into place very easily! (John 15:17 (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)

Family Rules and Chore Jar on Display for Reminders

Okay you heard me reference above that if you don’t follow the rules your clip will be pulled. This is pertaining to the new behavior chart that hangs in our kitchen. This is the part of the idea that works so well with my two older boys at school. Our family chart has 8 possible destinations for your clip to land depending on your behavior and choices. Everyday the boys clips(which are clothes pins) start on Good Choices. There is the possibility to move up and get the reward of an extra 30 minutes added to their day if they have gone above and beyond for that day. Good Choices and the starting point means that you have had a good day, and followed all the rules. However you don’t get rewarded for just doing what is expected of you and your bedtime stays at it’s normal time. Next on the chart is OOPS and WARNING these are mom’s forgiveness and grace and your two chances to get it right without disciplinary action, but you will be expected to have a little talk with at least one parent about your actions and why you did them. An apology will also be expected. THINK ABOUT IT is next you have broken the rules 3 times now and you will spend 30 minutes at the end of your day thinking about the rules you have broken. In other words you will go to bed 30 minutes early. MAKE BETTER CHOICES you have now broken the family rules 4 times and will lose an hour of your day to examine your heart. LOSE PRIVILEGE you have now broken the rules 5 times and will lose a privilege of parents choice for 24 hours. This could be ipad, TV, favorite toy, etc…. Last on the chart is CHORE JAR in this case you have now broken the rules 6 times and will have to draw a chore out to the chore jar and perform that chore as soon as you draw it. A special little note all previous disciplinary actions on the chart still apply if you get you clip pulled to another section of the chart. For example if you break the rules 6 times you do a chore, go to bed at 7:00pm, and still lose a privilege. Your clip can not move back up for the day once it has moved down. The good news each day is a new day and fresh start.

The Garrett Family Behavior Chart
There you have it folks a layout of the new plan in the Garrett household. I will let you know how well it works out for us. Happy Parenting!!!!


Sarah said...

Pretty cool James! Love it. I think this would work well for my 8 year old. Have to think how we could make it work with Sam (for those of you reading and don't know, Sam has autism) and his current therapy charts. Currently, Sam has a dry-erase chart with 4 boxes and a privilege at the end of the box row. If he gets 4 X's, he loses the privilege on that row for 24 hours. I really like this method though.

Do you guys differentiate between things like willful disobedience (purposeful disobedience that is obvious) and maybe not as willful but still wrong behavior (such as being selfish or mean to a brother)?


Stacey Flowers said...

WOW, this might work well for Jazlyn too. I also need to incorporate it with her school behavior. We just found out Jaz has ADHD and is being medicated at the smallest dose, just to help her control herself. She can't sit still and blurts out ALOT at school. I'm gonna get some supplies and give this a try!

Jaime Leigh said...

@ Sarah yes we do differentiate some what. However all unexceptable behavior gets a clip pulled beacause it all breaks one of the family rules. If you get your clip pulled two times + in a row....there will be greater consequence.

@ Stacey We incorporate school behavior in ours as well. If the boys come home with a card or color pulled at school they have to pull one at home for being disrespectful to their school/teachers/other students. This whole method has worked very well with us so far. Fingers Crossed!

I have a follow up blog coming soon that explains a little more and has a list of suggested chores for the jar. Stay tuned =)

ElleBee said...

Soooo I love this and am trying to figure out how to modify for Izzy (strong-willed, nearly 3yo). I have a question about the clips...you said once it goes down, it can't go back up til the next day...I do t think I understand how it DOES go up into rewards level...especially if your only opportunity to go UP is from the base-level. I wonder if as many opportunities to go UP as down could be creatively incorporated. So, if there are 3 or 4 levels on the punishment-side, what about 3-4 levels on the reward side (even if a reward means entrusting them with more responsibility to try on...?). Just typing as I think, but I LOVE what you're doing!!! Keep us posted how this goes. You're incredible. -Laura

Michelle Elkins AKA Mickey said...

oh need this. I have a "complaining chart" right that on my fridge and its going well...but i like the clip idea and also the early bed time to think about what you did. Fantastic!

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