Even Steven’s Sticker Chart
Things have gotten way out of hand over here. Somewhere between 8 weeks of puking, a trip to Florida, the holidays – and me officially losing my mind – Even Steven and I have become a little lazy in our parenting.
Not lazy with the big stuff – our kids are still fed, clothed, loved and paid attention to. (Although we did realize that the kindergartner has worn the same outfit to school every single day this week without us noticing. So there’s that.)
While we’re not ignoring most of the big stuff, we have been lazy in the enforcement of not having poop or fart be every second word coming out of their mouths.
We’ve been lazy about the kids picking up their own toys and pitching in a little around the house.
We’ve been lazy about taking the time to ask the kids to help us rather than just do it faster ourselves.
So last weekend we called a family meeting. We talked about how special our family is. We talked about our expectations and a few things they can do to help pitch in. We talked over a few consequences and left plenty of time for the kids to “pass the potholder” for a chance to speak their minds.
And we ultimately came up with sticker charts for everyone. They can earn stickers for completing certain tasks each day. We haven’t talked about what happens if they get a bunch of stickers – for now they’re just excited for stickers, and we’re going to ride that train for as long as we can.
Four days in, and the sticker chart is working like a charm. The kids are excited to earn their stickers and truly disappointed when they don’t.
Although the soon to be 5-year-old did say, “I wish I didn’t have to unload the dishwasher. And I wish we’d never had a family meeting.”
So I told her all about how I wished that I had thin thighs and that none of THIS had happened to my body. Luckily most of that went over her head…
When Even Steven saw how successful this whole sticker chart thing was, he suggested that he could make me a sticker chart to hang on the wall.
Even Steven: I could give you a sticker every time you go to the gym. That would keep you motivated, don’t you think? And if you got 5 stickers in a week, you could earn some free time or something.
That was the sound of me punching him in the face.
The very next morning, I dropped the kids off at the gym daycare, and I sat in the cafe with my laptop and played on Facebook for an hour. Then I came home and gave myself a sticker for going to the gym.
And another sticker for not smothering Even Steven in his sleep.
And yet another sticker for not spending my days chugging the handle of vodka in the cupboard.
Kidding. Calm down, Mom! I’m totally kidding.
And THEN I took the liberty of creating a sticker chart just for Even Steven.
He can earn a sticker for doing any of the following things:
*Going to the gym and arriving home in less than two hours.
*Changing a diaper.
*Actually listening to me the next time we decide to take all three kids to Ikea during naptime to buy a couch, when I say “We need to drive two cars and take the seats out of the van to fit the couch in.”
Side note: Guess who took all but ONE seat out because he was cold and then acted surprised when the couch wouldn’t fit in the van because of the seat that should have been removed. And guess who had to pay for home delivery? And guess who managed NOT to scream, “I told you so!” – except for this little random paragraph in a blog post? Yeah – another sticker for me!
PS – It won’t actually be possible for Even Steven to earn a sticker for this because there will never be a next time because I am never going to Ikea with the family again. Ever.
*Putting the lid on the milk all the way. Not just placing the cap on the top, but actually twisting it so it closes.
*Ditto for ketchup.
*Putting away laundry.
I think it’s a pretty decent sticker chart, and I’m sure it will totally motivate him.
And if he manages to get even ONE sticker, then he can earn some free time. But not real free time. It will be the free time you get when all three kids are having a little “quiet time” and you have 20 minutes to either take a shower, clean the kitchen or try to get some work done.
I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes for him.
So…. what would you put on YOUR husband’s sticker chart?
PS – It’s possible that I have a little tiny bit of PMS while writing this. Maybe.