Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pennies for change

Whining.  A word connects all parents to one another.  Some possibly understand it more than others but I don't believe anyone escapes it entirely.  All it takes to see that whining has always existed is to look at the Israelite nation and all the trouble their whining, mumbling and complaining got them.  Last month I wanted to take a time out in our family to see the effects of whining and having a grumbling spirit. So I set up a pennies for change area in our house.  Anytime we found ourselves grumbling, whining, or just having a negative attitude we placed one of our pennies in a jar.  At the end of the month we would be able to spend the leftover pennies in the "Mommy and Daddy Store".  Both girls, mommy and daddy participated and then at the end of the month the girls spend their rewards in our "store". 

We spent time talking as a family about the various consequences and benefits of living a life free of grumbling and complaining.  The store experience is a great teaching moment to allow the girls a concrete understanding about how there are rewards when we follow God's ways.  Even when we don't always see the rewards He gives us here on earth He does reward us. As the girls get older it is our intention to phase out the reward based system and operate more on an intrinsic motivation but it works for us in this phase of life right now.

This activity definitely had a good impact on all of us.  It is helpful for me to see how much my attitude needs to be surrendered and submitted to God. I may not always verbally complain but my sighs and my inward spirit are not always in the right place.  This activity drew that out big time!

Our pennies and jar. 

Lydia's rewards. She had a great month and learned to internalize her own self monitoring.

Emma's rewards.  She is still learning not everything is about her.

Mommy and Daddy store open for business.  (Better stocked than usual as we just got a scholastic book order back.) Most of the store is filled with dollar store, yard sale and thrift store finds.

I believe that when it comes to correction and discipline it is not only important to stop certain behaviors but to replace them with correct and God honoring lifestyle habits.  Stay tuned tomorrow for what we are working on as a family this month!

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