Tuesday, August 31, 2010

out of desperation -- the cup of kindness!


I am sure anyone with more than one kid understands the frustration with the fighting and arguing. The other day I was awoken by 2 children running to the bathroom and fighting about who got there first and, "how stupid" it was that the other one got there first. Not a good way to start the day....:(

This is my first attempt to use a visual aid to gauge the proper behavior. I have no idea how it will go, and I know it sort of is using bribery.........but then, I do feel that if the kids are truly trying to show kindness to one another- then I do want to reward that and recognize it and encourage it.

We have 2 systems in place- the first one is a little vase with 3 Popsicle sticks in it for each child. If I hear ugly words, I take out a stick for that child. If they lose all 3 sticks in a day, there will be consequences for that. If they keep all of their sticks for at least 4 days of the week, they get a prize.

Then there is the cup of kindness. When I catch an act of kindness, I move one of the dots into the cup. When the cup is filled, we will have a class party.

Along with this I have added liberal doses of prayer as well as regular Bible reading for their little hearts. And our current favorite verse:

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
I would love any feedback and your examples of how you have dealt with the fighting and arguing among siblings.

15 comments:

The Hopkins Home said...

I love these ideas! I have 3 kiddos and the fighting/bickering has been unbearable the past few weeks. We started reading a book "A Kid's Book of Devotions - Patience" that I got from our local Christian book store. If I start with that 1st thing in the morning our days actually do seem better because they are more mindful of their behavior. I'm going to try your popsicle stick idea :)
Christen

Tara said...

Mine are all grown, but it sounds like a great plan to me. Can't go wrong with teaching them Godly ways to live by.
hugs,
tara

Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence said...

What a great idea. My kids' fighting has really escalated this summer--I do what my mom did, force them to play together until they can get along. They also have to do cooperative chores, the more they fight, the more chores. Comes to think of it, my house stayed pretty clean this summer!

Kim's Treasures said...

My kids are all grown but those both sound like great ideas!

Monica said...

Ahhh, yes..; fighting over the bathroom, the bedroom, who rides up front in the car, who practiced the piano first...yes I remember arguing over all of those things and probably a lot more! I like your ideas, Sara. Your kids will probably hate me for telling you this punishment, but my parents would make us hug each other afterward. If they thought the argument level was mean-spirited, then we also had to kiss each other on the cheek. Do you know how hard it is to hug or kiss someone when all you want to do is clobber them? I think all four of us still list that as one of the most horrid punishments my parents ever gave us. (yes, even worse than a spanking!) :)

heather said...

i look forward to hearing your readers' advice! i, too have had a long,hard summer w/ the fighting. it seems as they get older it is getting worse. when they were younger they mostly just played together w/ an occasional disagreement. i have considered doing motivational "charts" or rewards, too, but have resisted b/c i want it to be expected behavior, not something special. but i have come to the conclusion that i need to focus on the positive & for a few weeks i've been contemptlating how i want to go about doing it! thanks for the ideas...i'll let you know what i come up with, too! i have also been very vigilent in praying specificly for certain behaviors in them. i am trying to calmly share verses about kindness with them & separate them when things "blow up". God will honor our desire to train them in the way they should go! He truly has given me wisdom & patience as i have been devoting more time in prayer! :)

Keri said...

Hi Sara,
I love these ideas and am going to keep them in mind as I know my time is coming - soon!

Stephanie said...

I think these are great ideas! You're such a great mom :)

justin, jake, and jenna's mom said...

love the cup of kindness!! for one thing, it is adorable :) but i think the concept is good too...mine are getting too old to do these cute little rewards/charts...that kinda makes me sad to realize! keep up the good work, mama!!

Megan Walker said...

I especially like your Cup of Kindness! I think it's a *great* idea, and I don't think it's bribery at all - I consider it positive reenforcement! :)

sarahssweeties said...

I love the cup of kindness!!! How are those little things stuck in the wall?

Pop Pop & Granna said...

Love the cup of kindness -- great ideas! The cup is sooo cute -- I would really want to get a circle in there as many times as I could!

Jenn said...

Well, I recently started attending a Bible study group for this very thing...the study is based on the book and video series "Shepherding a Child's Heart" and it's really good. It teaches that a child will not change the fighting/arguing/hatefulness if their heart is unchanged. You have to reach their heart. It also incorporated the Ginger Plowman book "Don't make me count to Three" I don't agree with all of her methods, but the book is pretty good and kinda goes with/alongside the other book. It may give you some better ideas. They say that bribery/reward system *never* work. It only teaches your child to behave in order to get a prize. And you want them to behave because they want to behave and do the right thing.
Just some thoughts. :0)

Makeup By LisaMarie said...

what a cute idea!! I love your walls so much it makes me wanna redo something in my house LOL
http://thislittleshabbychicvegangirl.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Here's something I've done... First, read Dr. Suess's "The Butter Battle Book," and talk about how silly it is to argue over trivial things. Then make a giant slice of bread out of paper. Use yellow post-it notes as butter slices. Every time you hear someone arguing over something trivial, they have to write on a slice of butter why it was silly and how they will handle it next time. Then they slap their butter on the bread. At the end of the week, reflect/discuss your butter battles, struggles and improvements.