Thursday, March 27, 2014

Consequences and Privileges

My husband and I feel like we are turning into the king and queen of empty threats when it comes to disciplining our kids. We are really good at threatening them with punishments, but aren't very good at following through with those threats. This was beginning to drive me crazy and I knew something had to change. We have tried different ways to enforce rewards or punishments in the past, but nothing really seemed to do the trick. Mainly because we weren't very good at following through with things and the kids would forget to "cash in" their prizes and then our system slowly faded away. 
I came up with this idea recently and have put it into practice this week. So far, it has been awesome for all of us! I wanted to make my board all cute and fancy, but mainly I just wanted it done without costing a ton-hence the lack of cuteness. 
 I made three jars. One is full of consequences for when the kids misbehave, one is full of extra chores, and the last is full of privileges. Each jar is full of different colors of paper. Yellow is the least severe, blue is a little worse and orange is the dreaded color. I did this for both consequences and privileges. With privileges, yellow is good, blue is really good and orange is amazing!! My thinking with this is when the kids have been bad or broken or rule, instead of threatening them with a punishment or just using time out, I can just say, "Go pull a blue consequence" and it's a done deal. Same with privileges. When we see good behavior or good choices being made, we can reward those immediately with the kids pulling a privilege from the jar. 
My kids are loving this system and we have seen such a difference with my 5 year old especially. She is so anxious to pull the privileges, that our mornings before school have been heavenly this week! Normally I have to remind her about a billion times of what she should be doing. I haven't had to ask her to do her chores once this week! 
 Here are some examples of what are in these jars. ( I picked things that were applicable to my kids. If you want to try this, think of things that your kids would love to have or hate to have taken away).

A yellow privilege might be: read for an extra 15 minutes at bedtime or play outside an extra 30 minutes or play an extra video game, etc
Blue could be: go on a bike ride with daddy, go get a treat from Costco, watch a fun show before bedtime, etc.
Orange: go to see a movie, go to Nickel Mania, etc.-things the kids love to go do, but is a major treat and things we don't do very often

Same idea with the consequences-
Yellow examples: Lose tv for the rest of the day, no video games that day, no reading at bedtime
Blue examples: pick an extra chore, time out for ______ minutes, no tv for 2 days, no playing outside that day, etc.
Orange examples: Pick an extra chore, and then I have lots of "mommy gets to choose", etc. 

The chores are things that my kids normally don't have to do around the house. They can either pick chores as consequences or pick them to earn some extra money. Blue ones might include washing all the light switches, or cleaning out a cupboard. The orange are  little more intense and yucky, like clean the garage or wash out the garbage can. My kids are praying they never pick the garbage can chore!
This may make me sound like a crazy, mean mom but I am trying to help reinforce good and bad behavior with my munchkins. Like I said, so far this is working great and I am no longer the queen of empty threats. It's been a good change for all of us!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

Once a month the girls in my family get together for Dessert Night. I love catching up with everyone and having that time with family. Eating treats all evening long isn't too bad either. 
I made these yummy treats the other night and we all loved them. So easy and so good!

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

22 regular size peanut butter cups
3 cups milk chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Line an 8x8 inch pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray. Unwrap and place 16 of the peanut butter cups in the pan. In a saucepan, combing chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk.Cook over medium heat and stir until melted and combined well. Pour over peanut butter cups and spread around to even it out. Cut up the remaining peanut butter cups and press into the melted chocolate mixture. Let sit at room temperature until the fudge cools a little bit and then transfer to the fridge to harden and cool completely. 

Makes about 24 pieces-depending on how big or small you cut the pieces. 

Source: Six Sisters Stuff

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mommy Guilt

This little blog of mine has given me some grief the past couple of months. After my last baby was born, I had a hard time getting back into blogging. I just didn't have the same excitement for it like I used to. Then last October, I felt really strongly that I needed to start doing it again and use this blog not only for recipes, but for sharing other things that I love-the gospel, family traditions, motherhood, etc. I was all ready to make this blog a big deal and then after a few weeks I kind of lost the momentum. I didn't think anyone even looked at this blog, so why was I going to spend my time posting things if no one even saw them?

Recently, I have been getting that feeling to start blogging again. I keep putting that feeling off. There have been so many articles circulating Facebook lately about moms and the different kind of moms out there.  I have had a hard time as I have read all of these articles because I don't understand why we have to treat ourselves so harshly as mothers. We are not all the same. We are not supposed to be the same. Why are we complaining about the holiday moms, or party moms, or whatever moms, just because we are not that mom? We need to support each other as moms, not rip each other apart.  

I am an Over-the-Top mom. And I love that that is who I am. I like big birthday parties (while the kids are little), I like to make my food green for St. Patrick's Day. I love that my kids like to have earth pancakes on Earth Day and that we eat red, white and blue pasta on Flag Day. Not all moms are like me though, and that is ok! But that also doesn't mean I am doing anything wrong because my way of celebrating or decorating or playing with my kids is different than yours. I don't blog or post things that I do on social media to be "in your face" with our activities or traditions. I post things for my kids and I post things for others who might find them beneficial. I love jumping online and finding someones cute idea that I can incorporate into our family fun without having to come up with it myself. That's one reason I love social media. 

I guess my point with all of this is, I didn't want to blog anymore because I am tired of feeling like I should feel guilty for being the mom that I am. But, I have tossed that nonsense out the window and I am going to start up this old blog again. For myself, and for others who find my recipes and ideas enjoyable and helpful.  

Celebrate the mother that you are. Celebrate the mothers around you. Don't feel guilty because your talents and skills are different from others. That's the way it is meant to be. Stop competing with everyone else and focus on your own family and their needs. And don't apologize or feel guilty for who you are as a woman and mother. You are exactly who you were meant to be!!