Several months ago, we created behavior charts for the peeps. We wanted to make them more mindful of their behavior and instill an element of personal responsibility and accountability to their sweet little lives. We use a rudimentary system of stars and X's. Attaining a certain goal means earning some sort of extrinsic reward. Sometimes they choose a toy from a dollar store; other times they get to play on one of our phones. We'll still working on transitioning them from extrinsic to intrinsic rewards as well as getting them to take care of chores without us telling them to do them. It's a process. Apparently, it's a long process.
For all these months, I've walked around in my Ideal Reality, the one in which I am model of perfect behavior. But last month, I checked into my Real Reality, where I realized that I, in fact, do not exhibit some of the positivie behaviors that I expect my peeps to demonstrate. Hello, hypocrite. Worse yet, I think the peeps pegged me as a hypocrite. They never called me out, but I could sense it in their expressions when I gave them an X for some negative behavior that I myself had displayed just moments before. So, I put myself on a behavior chart.
I chose Junie B. Jones because that is who my peeps are into right now. I would post a pic, but the "Choose File' button is missing from my Blogger photo upload screen. GRRRR. My categories are: Using Kind Words, Keeping My Temper, Using My Patientce, and Not Biting My Nails. For the week, I got X's in every category on almost every day. (This week, I've started off with all stars!!) And while I fail, and fail, and fail, I do notice that my chart is making me more aware of my behavior. When I hear myself speaking harshly, I change my voice. When I feel steam about to pour from my ears, I start breathing. When I realize I'm about to lose my patience to the point that I'll never find it, I walk away.
Putting myself on a behavior chart may seem odd to some, but it's working for me because I'm a visual person who likes to physically see her progress. The chart motivates me, and it constantly reminds me of my goals. It works for my family because it shows the peeps that everyone has areas in which they need to improve. And, they love it when we talk about our day and who earned stars! Although, I think they get a bigger kick out of me getting X's!
How about you? What are your areas in need of improvement and what strategies do you use to tackle them?
Wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... Keep It Real!