Friday, April 03, 2009

New Deal Update

Two weeks ago I told you about the New Deal I have instituted in my house. It is my attempt to maintain a tidier, more peaceful environment. And now that the New Deal has been in place for a while, I thought it would be fun to give you an update.
At the present moment, this is the score: Joshua and Matthew have five check marks, and Elizabeth has one. That means Joshua and Matthew each owe me 25 minutes of work and Elizabeth five.

Can I tell you how amazed I am by the wonderful job my kids have done of putting their things away properly???

Elizabeth got her check mark last week, and I think it scared her. When I was taking her to church Wednesday evening she wanted to leave her book in the van so she could read on the way home. But first she asked me, "Will I get a check mark if I leave this here?"
She also wanted to know when I was going to redeem the five minutes she owes me. It was this question of hers which led to my next decision regarding the New Deal. I will "bank" the check marks until a child has accumulated 30 minutes. Then I will come up with a good task and put them to work.
As the kids and I were discussing this redemption plan, it didn't take long for them to figure out that if they never go past five check marks, they'll never have to do the work I'm threatening. Oh, do they ever think they have it good! What they don't realize is, that is exactly what I'm going for.
I didn't come up with this New Deal because I want to get them to do extra work. I did it because I want them to be responsible for their stuff and contribute to keeping our home cleaned up. And if they never go past five check marks, that means my mission has been accomplished!
So, they think they're "winning" by not having to work off those check marks. But I think I'm winning more, because this place is going to be free of messes.
Yes, this is the kind of win-win situation I like!

May the joy of the Lord fill your soul this weekend. And may your children clean up all their messes. *grin*

*****Edited to add: Since the writing of this post, the kids have each earned another check mark. It was one infraction that any of them could have cleaned up and I asked all of them to do. Since no one did (Uh, that "no one" would be ME!) they each got a mark. That puts Joshua and Matthew at 30 minutes, and I have some redeeming to do. Hmmm, I have yark work that needs to be done. Guess who's going to be helping me!!!

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Jessica said...

woohoo! I love this idea. I wish my kids were old enough to put it in place. Sigh. I'm more selfish than you. Thirty minutes of someone doing a chore sounds like bliss.
I am proud of my little guys though. Yesterday they put away most of their own clothes! The training starts young. *snicker*

luvmy4sons said...

I am glad your are sticking to your guns. I hope it continues to do its job! I have found over the years that each new idea wore out after awhile and I had to come up with something "new"...I will follow your progress closely! LOL!

Melanie said...

What a great idea!
The trick is that you are able to maintain it. That has always been the problem with my "deals." I would forget the deal or lose interest in maintenance.

Mrs. Sidney said...

What a great plan... good job!!

Jerralea said...

That's kind of a sneaky plan -- I like it. I was thinking, wouldn't it be great if they never had to do 30 mins. of work? Then I read your update ...

Maybe it will be the last time they have to work for you ...

Happyhome said...

You my friend are a genius!

Becky in East Tennessee said...

I agree! You are a genius. I just came to your blog by way of the Cafe Devotions that a friend of mine forwarded to me. *tears in my eyes* You have absolutely nooooooooooo idea how you have just blessed my life. And I have only read TWO of your blog posts so far.

I plan to hunker in and read the rest tomorrow when everyone is off to work and school.

THANK GOD for people like you!!

Staceystace said...

I am always looking for new ways to motivate the kids in this area...everything seems to fizzle pretty quickly. Sounds like you have a good thing going on!