Recently the overall mood in our house had become one of niggling, kids fighting, frustration and so on. Around it went in circles every day, the negative energy feeding on itself as we all became more and more tightly wound and reactive.
Finally it reached a point where my husband and I could not stand it any more and I knew an intervention was needed. My husband was keen to enforce some harsher consequences for some of the behaviours as he often feels I am too soft with the kids. I convinced him to give me a week taking a different approach, a gentler approach, to see if it made any difference.
I am really happy to say we have seen a HUGE difference in the house, especially with our 5 year old who is known to be a bit of a fireball!
My approach …. FOCUS ON WHAT I WANT TO SEE … not what I don’t want …
We sat the kids down for a family talk and talked to them about how the mood of the house was impacting the whole family and how we all (including Mum and Dad) needed to work on changing this.
I told them I was going to create a tick chart on our kitchen blackboard and that everyone was going to start earning ticks. Ticks would be given out for any behaviours that showed extra kindness, love, sharing, helping, and good manners.
There is no reward for gaining ticks, or a certain number of ticks … just a sense of being recognised for their behaviour. I confess my husband and I are both amazed at how much of a difference this has made in the last week. The girls are all being kinder to each other and us, there is less yelling and the mood in the house is much happier.
Where possible I add a tick to the chart in the moment I notice a kind behaviour as this works best. But if not I make sure at the end of the day I add some ticks for each child for general observations.
Not sure where this will lead us in coming weeks.
For now I am simply enjoying being in a calmer, happier household.