Based upon plenty of requests to share this idea, I have decided to write a post on it. Just so you know, in no way do I take any credit for the magic this has created in our home (especially in regards to the good behavior we've experienced). My only claim is to the colorful way of display - which of course you are free to copy as long as you remember to note where it came from. Thanks!
This, my friends, is my new bff, "The Ladder". It has arrived from Karen's blog in Utah, U.S.A
but I'm sure it has traveled far and wide across the states and may have possibly visited foreign countries. Here at our home it has taken on a colorful array of hues to please the eye (and hopefully the mind) towards motivation and inspiration.
* I will post more on our Morning 5 and Evening 5 in a later post
How it Works
We have adapted the same requirements as Karen's family has in using The Ladder... and not by chance. I believe we (as parents) all struggle in these same areas of behavior "improvement" across the board when parenting our children. You may or may not agree. But, having our children "listen the first time we ask" has always been a dragon to be tamed around here, as well as "doing tasks in a timely manner while still getting the job done well". Both those and "reporting only good behavior of others" (instead of that infamous dragon, "Mr. Tattle-tale") has also been added to the list.
Whenever our children are displaying the positive behaviors we are working on, the marker (magnet on The Ladder) moves up. Although, when those evil naughty dragons are allowed to reign free, the marker goes down.
1. Complete a Task Well & Fast (2 rungs)
2. Doing something the 1st time asked
3. Notice someone else being nice (can't ask for self)
1. Counting to get one's attention
2. Having Instructions Repeated
3. Taking too long to complete a Task (2 rungs)
* pink papers will eventually be removed once this becomes rooted
Oh, and I dare not forget that whenever the marker reaches 200 - regardless if it finds its way down a rung or two by the end of the day - EVERYONE is rewarded! The reward may come in the form of a special treat or an impromptu visit to a nearby park depending on if we have frozen GoGurts in stock or not.
The Ladder Meets The Bean Jar
Hand in hand these two friends help our children improve their behaviors. "How?", you may be asking?
Well, it all started with us following the teachings of Dianne Jeppson (in A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion
) by implementing a reward system with The Bean Jar. However, our Bean Jar was being neglected. And not for purposeful reasons...far from it! It was just so hard to keep up with its ever so increasing appetite.You see, The Bean Jar gets fed every time someone does something good. And when you have a lot of good behavior going on in your home (because everyone wants to go get ice cream once the jar is full), that's a lot of feedings for a WIDE MOUTH Mason jar.
And instead of relying on the children to feed this little friend, I was the one in charge of the beans. Mind you, it was because I didn't want a bunch of beans ending up all over the floor from an over-zealous 2 year old thinking that The Bean Jar was REALLY hungry. So thus, The Bean Jar sat, collecting dust and starving on the top of the bookshelf.
Best Friends Forever
Pairing these two together has created an everlasting friendship. When they have "hung out" we have witnessed a spectacular sight. As the positive behavior increases, elevating the marker, the amount of beans being fed into the Bean Jar accumulates. Thus, satisfying our Wide Mouthed friend. And... leaving us at the end of the day - being the "bean counters" we are - tallying up and feeding this hungry vessel.
But as we all know... friends just don't always get along.
Some days these two have a difficult time staying on track (or in this case - on the positive numbered rungs). Which leaves, one in the negative and us no other option but to starve the other ultimately making it difficult to reach our goal. Which, might I remind you, is not just ANY ice cream... but Cold. Stone. Creamery. ice cream...with a topping of choice (of course).
Synergy or Working Together
As we see our children work together to climb The Ladder to success, The Bean Jar gets fed, our children will get Cold Stone Creamery and we....well, we ultimately get the greatest gift of all....children who are quick to obey. I mean, really, isn't that what we all want as parents - to see our children feel good about their choices, knowing that what they are doing not only puts a happy smile on their faces but that it also pleases their parents and their Heavenly Father too?
We know that through obedience comes faith. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come (D&C 130:19). And, really, that is what it is all about: the spiritual knowledge we gain here in our temporal lives. And what better than to do it as a team, together as a family, working together towards one goal: a trip to Cold Stone Creamery or even grander...Eternal Glory!
We think that hard work, obedience and finding the good in others are all worthy attributes that will help us obtain Celestial Glory. Don't you?