It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been a parent, there’s always something to learn. My oldest son is 11 years old so I’m not really a novice at parenting. As a matter of fact, I think I’m really getting the hang of raising boys, especially since I have four of them.
I recently came up with the idea to place a money jar in our living room. Now, this money jar was no ordinary money jar. This jar wasn’t our saving but this was something EVERYONE in our home could participate in and possibly benefit from. This jar was for arguing and YELLING. If you raise your voice, you pay $1. If you argue, you pay $1. I’m not sure how your household works, but I realized as a mother of boys that I’m exhausted by 6:00 am from all the yelling (mainly myself) and arguing. Most mornings I hear, “Euh, you spit on me, brush your teeth somewhere else.” “Those are my socks, get your own.” “I’m not carrying your bag, get it yourself.” There are many little arguments that happen between my boys everyday…BOYS WILL BE BOYS! However, when arguing turns into paying a $1 out of your money, you quickly learn how to tame your tongue. I, myself have learned that raising my voice isn’t always necessary to get them to move and/or listen. (Yes, parents its ok to learn about yourself as well.) My boys have learned that it’s perfectly fine to disagree with someone but you do not have to yell to get your point across. There are different consequences when we get into confrontations. In this case, the consequence is money.
Week one, the payout was quite nice. I WON! I had the least amount of yelling and/or arguing for the week. I got $16 and it felt good. Now, I shouldn’t pride myself on taking money from my children and husband but hey, this girl feels good. I did yell once during week one. However, for the most part, I caught myself before I allowed something to make me upset. Instead, when my boys “accidentally” spit on each other while brushing their teeth, I walked pass their bathroom nodding yes and saying ok. I think that in itself was scarier than me actually yelling. In their mind, I’m walking to their play area and confiscating Legos, unplugging video game consoles and taking away tablets. I did none of those things. I allowed them to learn how to work things out without yelling back and forth AND me getting involved. Needless to say, Week one made our house a little more quieter than the norm. The only exception…SCATTERGORIES!