Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Color Chart for My Kids

Yes, this has nothing to do with decorating. But, I can't help but want to share my struggles of getting my kids to behave at home. Both my son and youngest daughter are very strong-willed children and love to test their boundaries ALL the time. My husband and I were at our wits end to find a way to get our children to listen without having to constantly raise our voices and send them to their rooms. There just didn't seem to be any consequences or reason for them to follow the rules. Until now!
At school, they are very well behaved. So, I started looking at the behavior system that was being used. It's a color chart consisting of blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Every morning, the kids start on blue. They each have their own clothespin with their names on them. Blue means that all rules are being followed. If a rule is broken, they have to move their clip to green. If they break another rule, they move to yellow and start losing recess time. Orange, even more recess time. Red, may lose all of recess time and possibly a trip to the principle's office. If they end the day on blue, they earn a "Bug Buck" which can be used to "buy" a toy from the treasure box.  You get the idea, right?
It works so well at school and the kids already understand the rules and consequences; I decided to adapt it for our home. This is what I did:

I printed circles onto colored paper with a positive message and reminder.
If they drop to green, it takes 30 minutes of good behavior to move back up to blue. If they move from green to yellow, it will take 30 minutes to get back to green. And another 30 minutes to get back to blue. If they drop to orange, they go to their room for a time out. For my 5 year old, it's 5 minutes. For my 8 year old, it's 8 minutes. If they get on red, they are grounded from all activities such as video games, tv, computer, playing outside or with friends for 30 minutes. 

Then I printed their names and taped them onto magnets, since ours is on the fridge.

A trip to the store to buy an assortment of $1-$3 "treasures". They must end the day on blue in order to get a "treasure buck". They can also choose to "buy" one treasure or save their bucks to get a bigger treasure at the end of the week. 

After a full week of using this system at home, we have seen a total change in our kids' behavior! It works! They have only dropped down to orange one time and every day they have worked back to blue by the end of the night. Our home is no longer filled with tension and stress. We have not had to raise our voice or constantly send them to their rooms. All they needed was a little structure and a goal to work toward. It's such a wonderful feeling being able to enjoy my children again. :0)


Tell me what you think. I enjoy reading your comments!