Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Reclaiming my Throne

I need to share this parenting gem I stole last week from @Jennaskitchen on Instagram. She stole it from some other genius mama, who probably stole it from someone else, and so on and so on, right down to Eve. I swear it is that good! With that being said, I am sure she will not mind me sharing this treasure with all of you. In fact, as mamas, I believe it is our responsibility to share tidbits of parenting ingenuity. It isn't fair if one mama is sitting there all queen-of-the-castle-like because she has the key to unlock the mysteries of the parenting universe while the rest of us are sludging our way through the day to day, making the same mistakes over and over again, while our little minions inch by precious inch take over our domain. Mamas, it is time to put down those chocolate almonds and Coca Colas (okay, keep them. Life is too short anyway and we need some joy in our day . . . tee hee!) and reclaim your throne. Here is the answer to all of your problems . . .  are you ready for it? I am so giddy; it is ridiculous!

Tokens for Screen!

Did you hear the angels herald? I sure did.

Don't roll your eyes. Hear me out. I promise; this will change your life!

Let me tell you how it works. First, put away your card stock and laminator because there is no need for either of them. I know you love them, but now is  not the time. The beauty of this parenting tip is that it requires no work on your part . . . no fancy charts, no check marks or stickers, and no preparation at all . . . hold your applause until the end, please.

Second, find a collection of little things that you have a lot of and do not have a use for. I have been dragging around a bag of plastic bread ties I used to use in my classroom for years, and they work perfectly.

Third, get a small container for each of your children and put their names on it. I simply taped their names onto small Mason jars I had stored in my cupboard.

Fourth, inform you angelic children that contrary to what they believe, they, in fact, are not entitled to watch TV or play video games all day long, and from here on out, they will be working for screen time.


The throne has been usurped once again and the rightful  ruler has returned. They will cry. They will argue. They may even tell you they hate you, but that is okay because after about thirty  minutes their screen addiction will kick in, they will start frothing at the mouth and  their body will  begin convulsing. Do not worry. This is a critical step because this is the point you have them. They are now putty in your hands.

Fifth, now that your minions are ready to listen, explain to them how the program works. They do odd jobs around the house for you - fold the laundry, walk the dog, mop the floor, vacuum, pick up toys, unload the dishwasher . . . you name it! For each job, they get a token, and that token can be traded in for 30 minutes of screen OR saved until the end of the week and traded in for $1. You take care of allowance, entitlement issues, and screen time dilemmas with one easy cheesy routine. 

I bet you hear the angels now . . . huh?

Now, I know some people have strong feelings about allowance over the fact that children should not be rewarded for every chore they do, and I agree completely. My boys are expected to keep their rooms clean, put away their clean clothes, watch the babies and clean up after themselves without any reward, other than the fact that I gave them life and continue to allow them to live . . . tee hee! But seriously, this is another reason why this token system works so well: you can choose what your child gets tokens for and it may change day to day, according to what you need done. It is brilliant!

And it works! Screen time has been drastically reduced in my house. I am currently writing this post, while supper is cooking, because I have nothing left to do. All the chores are done and my house is spotless, except for the toys that are spread out over my entire living room floor that Avery asked me to leave for him to clean up so that he could get a token . . . I kid you not! This has to be the ultimate parenting tool. I am once again the queen of my castle, and it feels so good!

And now because we all need more funny pictures of Harriet in our life, here you go:

I swear she did not learn how to text and drive from me. Harriet!

Check out the attitude! This was in response to my lame joke about her texting and driving. She is soooo much like her big sister . . . pray for me!

Oh, and Harriet is currently mopping my bathroom floors so that she can save up enough tokens to buy this pink car, that both she and her brother pitched a fit over having to leave behind at the store today . . . just kidding . . . about the bathroom . . . not the fit . . . ugh!

 . . . tee hee!

But, seriously, just try it.

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