So with that, please allow me to share last night's Craft of the Year: Big Girl's Goal Chart!
Inspiration: If you type "chore chart" into Pinterest, you'll be granted unlimited access to some of the most beautiful, at-home, DIY chore charts for kids. Goal charts, however, are hard to come by. I've found focusing on goals, as opposed to chores, is more beneficial as it knocks out two objectives:
1. The kid is held accountable for the maintenance of critical life skills
2. The kid still cleans (a "responsibility" goal would encompass cleaning up)
Motivation: Summer Big Girl makes Mommy yell, pull hair out, and drink wine like a banshee....and bald Mommy is tired of yelling.
Disclaimer: The execution of the completed goal chart requires significant effort, follow-through, and, if you have another parent in the house, teamwork. Aaron and I discussed the chart prior to presenting it to our big girl to ensure we're on the same page. Sticking to the chart and remaining 100% dedicated to consistency is the only way this chart (or anything else) will ever be effective with kids. But don't worry. I truly am a lazy ball of goo after a long day and consequently, created this chart system so it requires the least amount of work possible from a parenting perspective.
Part I: Identify Your Goals
Think about what is making you crazy. Now think about what caused the craziness. Now think about what can be done to squash what caused the craziness. You've got yourself a goal! I chose 8 goals and really tried to focus on long-term application. I didn't want to put things like, "clean your room, stop screaming in the house, don't ask for more toys every day"....I wanted instead to use things she could carry with her into her teenage years and beyond. Identifying goals can be challenging; I want to be gentle, yet firm, simple, yet encompassing. Try and match your most recent parenting struggles with some real, genuine values.
Part II: Make the Chart!
This is the fun part :)
Yep, if I'm in a crappy mood, she will feel the burn. My reasoning is this: If I am having a terrible day, and say so to my big girl (I'm very vocal), she should correctly assume that pushing Mommy's buttons will most likely result in less tolerance. I use this people-reading skill at my workplace every single day. Learning to read others and react accordingly is important. I try to always be consistent, but when push comes to shove, real life can toss some curveballs. I want her to be capable of knocking the unexpected out of the park :)
Side Note: I do not separately penalize her for getting a day full of "Ok" or "Needs Some Work" smileys...she is always punished right away for anything serious enough to deserve some serious discipline (WHACK! just kidding :) We ground her and take away privileges).
This is what the chart will potentially look like at the end of a week. I placed the goals to the left, the days of the week along the top, and a grid of smileys in chaotic little rows.
Thank you so much for reading and I welcome any questions you have about the Goal Chart. Do any of you use a chart like this? Has it worked for you? I could see a chart like this being useful for adults, as well. I could stand to practice a few life values myself!
Happy Independence Day everyone! :)