A big challenge in our home has been obedience with a good attitude.
We've gone over scriptures and we've implemented negative consequences for bad attitudes and these things have helped our children, but the Lord's been teaching my husband and I recently as we read through Joshua and Judges that God is just as faithful to discipline as He is to reward. :)
|The kids earned money from extra chores and bought a box of candy from the Hardware Store.|
It's important to teach our children there are consequences for their actions. However, these consequences aren't always negative! There are promised blessings in His word when we are obedient.
I believe I mentioned a while ago that my husband invested in a pack of charts from http://www.doorposts.com that he wanted me to slowly start doing with the children. We started with one chart at a time and just recently implemented the final chart which is the "Blessings Chart". On this chart it lists a number of positive, Godly character traits and scriptures that speak of the character traits as well as the blessings that the Bible promises as a result of these traits. Then there is a third column where we can write how we are going to bless each child for exercising each character trait. These blessings line up with how the Bible says God will reward those who obey Him.
For example, Pacemaking is one of the 10 character traits listed. The verses next to it include Matthew 23:12 ("And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.") and Proverbs 25:21-22 ("If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the L will reward you."). The reward we have listed here is: No Chores for the Day & Publicly Exalted.
So, this brings me to my other idea that we've implemented. I must have read it in a book somewhere, but we had the idea to start a, "Yes mam" Chart. It's simply a piece of paper with Yes M'am written on the top of it and each child's names written below it. We bought some stickers from the Dollar Store and every time a child responded with "Yes M'am!", had a great attitude, and did what was asked immediately and thoroughly, they got to place a sticker on their chart! The stickers were reward enough, but we told the kids whoever did the best during the week got a prize. They didn't know what the prize was, but it ended up being a special date with Daddy! :)
I must admit, the first few days, the biggest change I saw was in my son. He LOVED being able to put stickers on the chart. He would say, "Yes M'am!" and then obey and I was so thrilled with him!! THEN the biggest, long-term change was in my daughter Hayven. We've always struggled with Hayven having a good attitude and MAN!! Even after we ceased using the chart (because we ran out of stickers), her attitude is phenomenal! She was the one who won a date with her Daddy! She got all dressed up, put on some make up, and had Chinese food and ice cream with Daddy! She was just GLOWING!!! One of the other kids was so inspired, they had a dramatic change in their attitude and also earned a date with Daddy.
Now obviously, things only work as far as you're willing to implement them. I mentioned this idea of a "Yes M'am" Chart to a friend of mine and she implemented it with her younger two with a different spin. She called it the "Yes Mom" Chart and when her littles got 10 stickers she was going to take them out for ice cream. She then recommended it to some parents of young kids she ran into at her workplace who seemed very excited to try it with their little kids. :)