Monday, October 25, 2010
246. That's how many marbles it took Sophia to fill up her marble jar. We started the marble jars this summer as a way to encourage the kids to be better helpers around the house. In the beginning, they would get marbles for doing things like making their beds or helping with the dishes.
As the summer progressed I started trying to reward them more for the things they were doing on their own to be helpful. A switch from basic obedience training to encouraging more helpful and caring hearts. So they'd get marbles when I would walk downstairs and they were already cleaning up the basement. One day I told them we couldn't do crafts until I finished the laundry -- so on their own they went downstairs and brought up all their hangers so I could finish faster. Sometimes it was as simple as an older sister pushing Isabella on the swing -- helping her have fun rather than focusing on themselves. As the jars began to fill up, the girls really started looking for things they could do to be helpful. My favorite was when Sophia looked at my cabinet under my computer -- a total disaster -- and asked if she could organize it. LOVED that!
As a reward, Sophia got to pick what she would do and she chose to go on a date to the bookstore with her Dad and go shopping with me. She got a couple of books and some much needed church clothes. But mainly, we got quality one-on-one time with her.
Anna is only a few marbles away from finishing so we'll be planning another date soon. Isabella has a ways to go. She's always been my M.E.R girl. (Minimal Effort Required) Some would call it lazy -- others might think she's smart. But really she doesn't do much beyond what she absolutely has to. Sophia has already started refilling her jar. I'm looking forward to seeing them find ways to be helpful. Really, I wish I had my own jar with a prize waiting for me at the end. Maybe I'd have a better attitude when it comes to laundry and the dishes!!