Family Laws and Pre-Set Consequences help me to keep high expectations without using anger to motivate. For years, I have used the phrase that work earns food, which was motivating, but sometimes it contradicted the basic duty of parents to providing food for their children- since it is a necessity of life. We tried work earning play and work earning money which sometimes worked and sometimes didn't. All year I have been struggling over what the family law should be... does work earn food or play or money? I had an "a-ha" one night that it earns all 3!
Some work earns *FOOD (such as their assignment for helping prepare or grow the food)
1 exception-- they have to have a clean body and room before breakfast everyday.
(They are in charge of setting their own alarms + getting up and ready before family scripture study)
Some work earns PLAY/privileges (personal duties like their **family chore and homework)
They cannot go outside, play with friends, use technology, etc until their chore is done.
Some work earns ***MONEY (house/yard work that lightens parents' responsibilities)
I made a list of house and yardwork that needs to be done weekly and but a price on it that I was willing to pay them and let them sign up. They kept it for the whole month long.
*Since I have 6 kids, they each help cook on their assigned breakfast day, lunch day, and dinner day. Sunday is cereal and leftovers or I cook. If they refuse to do their meal, they cannot eat that meal that day... it never happens. My kids love helping me cook-they plan the meal with me so it's nutritious and something they like. This way I don't have to restrict their food anymore. As long as they are willing to help cook, they can eat as much as they want. If the meal runs out, I just stay loaded with carrots, bread, milk, eggs, peanut butter as options to fill up or snack on.
**They only have one family chore a day. It's either their breakfast day, their housework day, their lunch day, their laundry day, their dinner day, or their yardwork day.
***They earn money from, but they have to budget and pay for their own clothes, extra learning (½ sports), and fun.
2. HONORING PARENTS
I have been in massive training this summer with obedience, respect, and emotional control.
My goal is to be super kind yet not permissive of disrespect and defiance.
I've tried time outs, but what if the child is too big to take to time out or won't go?
This is the system we have worked out: (It is tough, but worth it)
There are 4 basic skills that children should have while interacting with parents
(This is from a book called, A House United)
1. Receive and Instruction (say "yes mom" and quickly obey and report back)
2. Receive a *Consequence (say "yes mom" and quickly do the consequence)
(jobs are not the consequence, they are a result of not receiving a consequence... see below for natural consequence ideas)
3. Receive a No Answer (say "yes mom" and drop the topic- no whining)
4. Disagree Appropriately (say "yes mom, may I suggest an idea I think is more fair"...no arguing)
If they cannot receive an instruction, consequence, or a no answer then I tell them they are 1 square below the privilege line. (which means they owe me 1 small job or act of obedience)
I then give the instruction a 2nd time. If they don't receive and do it, they drop 2 more squares below the privilege line.
I then give the instruction a 3rd time. If they don't receive and do it, they drop 3 more squares below the privilege line.
Usually they will obey an instruction by the 3rd time, if not- I just drop the topic and they have no privileges until they've done 30 minutes of work for refusing that instruction. In the meantime, if I have to give different instructions before they have earned those back, they can drop even more if they don't obey those instructions. The quicker they soften their heart, the quicker they get privileges back. I give them a list of jobs to chose from. They can pick from my 5 minute job list (1 square), my 20 minute job list (4 squares), or my 60 minute job lists (12 squares). They can also move up a square every time they obey an instruction right away that I give one out naturally.
-Don’t eat meal= Don’t get snacks
-Eat before prayer=wait 5 minutes to eat.
-Fight over toy/game=lose toy or pulled out of game for a period of time
-Name calling/verbal abuse= say 10 kind words or write letter of forgiveness + kindness or soap in mouth (swearing)
-Hurt someone=time out-Bad for babysitter=pay babysitter