6/3/08

WATER!
Carver at one end...

Zinabu at the other.

My boys stood at their stations for the better part of an hour just blasting each other. I wish I had a sound clip of Z's hysterical laughter. It was too funny. The water gun idea was so geared toward boys, as not one girl would go near them. Lily grew tired of having no one to play with and sulked on her towel. Exhibit A:

Keeping 3 kids busy (but not too busy) and entertained (but not too entertained) and challenged (but not frustrated) over the summer is a delicate balance. My kids are old enough now, though, that we can work on systems and charts and incentives. That goes a long way. For the summer, we've instituted the ticket system. You can buy huge rolls of red carnival type tickets at office supply stores, so we dropped $7 for a big roll. Each child gets 20 tickets at the beginning of the week. Each ticket is worth 1/2 hour of screen time (tv or computer). That averages out to an hour a day, plus some extra on the weekend for morning cartoons or a movie. Ahhh, but here's the fun part! They can lose tickets based on bad choices. They can earn more tickets by doing extra chores or reading for 30 minutes. For Carver, he can earn a ticket for extra schoolwork he completes. (There is one particular area he needs lots of practice, still.)
We're not battling the television so much as trying to teach our kids delayed gratification, budgeting skills, and consequences for rotten behavior. TV and computer are great! Lily's favorite website is Animal Planet where she can learn about science and endangered species, for pete's sake. But I do want my kids to learn that screen time is a privilege--not a right. And they can earn it or lose it. I'll let you know how it works.

6 comments:

Mark and Sarah said...

Cathy, I'm a fellow CHSFS'er and forum goer. I totally respect your new ticket system. My boys are under 2, so it will be awhile before I institute such a great incentive plan--but I have to say, from reading your blog for many months--you are an awesome mama with some cool kiddos. Love your authenticity.
~Sarah (parents2b)

Orrange said...

great idea!

Deirdre said...

What a brilliant system! I'll have to try that with my kids when they're old enough to not eat the tickets.

Chatter said...

That is such a great idea. Remind me of that in a few years in case I forget. You are a great mama! Love the pics from the pool.

Stacy said...

Yeah Cathy, what a great idea! Can you bump that post up in a couple years????

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! That sounds like an EXCELLENT idea!! I will have to keep that in mind for my lil Douglas (once he gets a little bit older, that is!!!) Looking forward to hearing how it works out!
Love you - Bekka (Engstrom) Weise