Saturday, February 25, 2012

parenting with beads

So I had heard of this a couple of times on the internet and was intrigued and then my friend, the Widney Woman wrote about it on her blog and I knew I had to give it a try.

Parenting by beads.

I realize there are a lot of opinions on chore lists, sticker charts, reward systems, allowance and such. My deal is.... who gotta figure out what works best in your family, for your kids. That's what I'm trying to do.

We have a real imbalance in our house that is quickly becoming a large problem. You see Abby is pretty great when it comes to lending a hand around the house. Maya is decidedly not so. With relatively little grumbling Abby will get up and help clear the table or put her laundry away or whatever. Maya will fling herself on the couch and dramatically declare that she couldn't possibly help because she'd just sprained her head. Yes, that is an actual excuse she used one night.

What happens is Abby ends up doing more than her fair share of the work and Mike and I both tend to ask her to help with things because she puts up less fuss about it. That, in a word, is not fair. It's not fair and yet it continues. I find it incredibly frustrating, my patience has become paper thin and I am spending far too much time angry and all the things that go along with angry like yelling (me) and crying (Maya). I dread those "get things done" hours between dinner and bed.

So when I read about this system I thought it was worth a shot. I knew Abby would be racking up the beads much quicker than Maya and perhaps that was just the visualization she needed.

We've been operating under the new bead system for 24 hours and I already like what I see. As predicted, Abby is already out in the lead, but only by one bead. Just that one bead is driving Maya nuts. Their toyroom was getting a bit out of control so I sent them in to clean it and let them know that the job paid two beads, if they both did the work they would split it, but if one ended up doing more than the other that person got both. The room was clean in record time with Maya actually helping out. It's too early to call this a huge success, but so far things are a lot quieter here. There is less yelling and more co-operation from our littlest member.


Julie said...

I am inviting you come and be part of my blog hop:

Lynn said...

Hm, very interesting. We also have a similar imbalance problem here, with the girls being eager to help and our son being eager to avoid all possible work, always. I think we will give this a try.

Merry said...

The bead system sounds really cool. With there only being one kid in our house...I wonder if it would work here. Evan is more than happy to say "No" when we ask him to do things. It's driving me nuts. Maybe I should put him & Dewey on the bead system...I wonder who would win. ;)

Shan said...

Lynn - It's really evened things out here. In fact last night Maya disappeared into the bathroom... I figured she was just going to play in the sink, like usual, but nope... she cleaned it. Wiped out the sink, wiped down the counters etc. All without being asked. She's been a very willing helper since we started this. Loving it.

Merry - Now she's not even concerned with what is in Abby's jar, she's just focused on filling her own. It's really calmed things down around here. Mike and I are both big fans.