2 In Childhood

The Reward System For the Energetic Child

Happy Monday friends! 
We were busy over here enjoying the outdoors, running around town and using up the energy we have stored over up over this long winter season.
I swear I would be RICH if I could bottle up a tiny bit of my children’s energy and sell it!
I don’t know how they can bound out of bed in the mornings, run down the stairs, and twirl around for a few minutes until they fall into a heap. 
If I squint my tired eyes open just enough, I can see them get up…..and do it all over again. 
I usually find myself staring in bewilderment at how they can jump about, fight loudly and then race to school with an amount of energy I could obtain  if I slept for a week straight and consumed only whole coffee beans for breakfast lunch and dinner.
Sometimes the extra energy combined with childhood disorganization can leave every room in our house looking disheveled, unorganized, and like some little tornadoes spun wildly through each room. 
I often find that I am left in the aftermath of their whirlwinds, stunned and having no clue where to START in order to get the house and myself back in order.
This blog is meant to share the pretty things that are happening in our lives; to encourage you that if you too are living in a reno and can’t see beyond the dust.
I also want to share with you what REAL life with three little tornadoes looks like.
If you follow along with the happenings of This Little Estate via Instagram, you will notice that a laundry day around here lasts a week and sometimes the projects take waaaayyyy longer then planned, leaving our home in a seemingly constant disarray. (Come by and follow along. You will catch glimpses of reallife with three energetic kiddies.)
The bottom line is, no one is perfect, no house is perfect, and if it IS…
 I’m sure no one is having fun in that house.
Sometimes we play hard around here, and forget to clean up. 
Sometimes our energy takes us from one project to the next, from one toy to the next and our rooms look like every toy basket in the house has been dumped out!
(And sometimes it looks like every toy basket has been dumped out BECAUSE it HAS been. ;))
I have spent more days than I like to admit, yelling at encouraging the children to clean up their messes.
 Sometimes we both end up frustrated, nothing ends up clean, and our home remains very “Un blog worthy”.
So with a lot of trial and error, we have happily implemented the Reward System in our house!
The Reward System is something that encourages our children to be positive, do age designed house hold tasks and in return they have the opportunity to earn “bucks” that will help them buy some time to use electronics, buy time to go on a special outing, or to save up for a special toy or treat.
We implemented this Reward System last summer when the days were long, the whining uncontrollable and I was stuck on the couch nursing a new born baby morning day and night.
I imagine my children must feel overwhelmed and misunderstood when they
have to clean up a mess that they aren’t “done” with or one so big they
have no idea where to start. Focusing their energy on a specific task can be challenging if the task isn’t laid out clearly or seems too daunting.
I am like my kids and have so much extra energy.  I often focus this energy on starting a million projects and leaving them half finished. I do not however, want to be told to clean up my projects “right now”, like they are told to do often!
In these messy instances I wish my Super Woman strength was the ability to clean up with the blink of an eye!
Instead, my Super Woman strength is being resourceful, and so I would like to share with you how to implement The Reward System, and how it has helped my kids and my sanity so much.
First you need to find jars or containers of some kind and have the
ability to mark them with your child’s name. 
We used old spaghetti sauce
jars and food storage jars, a little painters tape, and some chalk board
paint to make little labels on our glass jars.
If you are using chalkboard paint you will need to do a couple coats of paint and let dry an hour in between coats.
Now you will need to find some free printable incentives that fit your child, your solution and your families needs.
Then I searched  Free Printable Behavior Charts and found an entire site dedicated to simplifying all of our Super Woman ways.
I found a section where I was able to print off some Behavior Bucks in various quantities and some Chore Bucks in various quantities. (My thoughts on having different quantities was that if the kids were positive and were extra well behaved on an outing somewhere they could receive a $5 Behavior Buck as opposed to a $1 one. ) 
I then printed the behavior bucks and chore bucks on to extra thick paper from our home printer and cut them out and stored them out in the open on our dining room table. 
I then sat down with my kids and figured out what they wanted to “buy” with their earned chore bucks. We decided that time with electronics could be earned by doing some various tasks around the house and picking up after themselves.

We put our chalkboard labeled jars in another visual place with in our home and got to tidying up and being happy about it. 
My kids are like most and love working towards a goal! 
Implementing the new Reward System at our house has now laid out clear expectations for my children and gives them an incentive to clean up, do things independently and our house is filled with less mess and less whining!!
Pure bliss for any parent!
We have gone from days of sitting around complaining and crying…
To happy kids feeling in control and satisfied by their positive actions.
Now, I can focus my Super Woman Strength of resourcefulness to clean up my own projects and messes. Maybe the kids will “buy” me a treat?? 🙂
How do your kids help out around the house? Do you reward them in someway? Do you have any tips to share about living peaceably with messes? We are always looking to simplify over here and love to hear other Super Woman’s tips and tricks!

Sharing at:

Craftberry Bush Link up Party
Tatertots and Jello

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  • Tanya Runkle
    April 16, 2013 at 2:06 am

    Bethany I love this!! The Pretty Things link party is live & I would love for you to share this with us, hope to see you there 🙂

    xo, Tanya

  • DesignGeek
    April 20, 2013 at 2:20 am

    You describe my daily battle so well, but now I have hope that I can inspire my kids to be more independent and positive about their jobs too.