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Why *star charts* are awesome

I know that off and on over the years people have said to me ‘why don’t you start doing star charts?’ when I talk about Ivy and trying to get her to do things. Until now, I’ve thought it was a reasonable idea, but the execution of it just seemed too difficult.

I have no idea what changed, other than having lots going on and desperately wanting to make life a little bit easier for myself, but I woke up one morning and said to the girls: “We’re doing star charts!” And stickers… because I think they need the instant gratification as well as the longer term pay off that gaining stars incurs.

Funnily enough, they are working a treat….

Lauren gets a star every morning if she has a good nights sleep. I’ve set the goal fairly low: this means not demanding a feed every time she wakes, it means doing her best to get herself back to sleep with no more than a cuddle and you know what? She’s doing great. Two nights in a row with good sleeps. Longer gaps between waking, and barely a feed. Loving it. She also gets stickers for other small things, and she loves it so much.

Ivy has her day halved, and gets a star for each half of the day that she manages not to whine, throw a tantrum or yell at me (trust me, this is a big ask some days!). So far, she’s managed one half day, but she’s doing a lot better and when she does have a blow out we talk about ways she could handle the situation better.

I have a feeling that in no time at all, she’ll be an absolute joy to be around all the time, and that’s SO exciting for me (well, and her, but personally, I find it really hard to be around someone who is loudly throwing their weight around, complaining about everything and yelling at me. And I WANT to enjoy spending time with her, not feel constantly on guard against the next attack). In return, if she gets all mornings, or all afternoons with stars for a week she gets fish and chips for dinner on a Friday night. And when she gets all mornings and nights, then she gets to go to Playland.

So, our household is a lot more peaceful these last days, and I am feeling so much better in general. I even managed to get through Tue/Wed with no tears, not even the slightest bit down about anything. Love it.

Star charts are awesome.

This got me thinking though. Why not reward myself too? What could I give myself as a reward to try and help me get back into writing as a habit?

Ultimately, I know I can do it, but it feels like its taking forever to get into a good place with it. Maybe a star chart of my own might help? I’ve kind of prevented myself from having any *wants* for a while now, but I think I could come up with some ways to reward getting back into a habit. Maybe I can even team it with cutting back on the junk food… like, if I write for at least ten minutes for a whole week I get to have apricot pie? (rather than, like, twice a week just because).

Something to think about anyway.

On the writing front I was working on a story for Ruzkin’s PUNKPUNK, but I didn’t meet the end of August deadline. I’m going to keep writing it though because I’m enjoying it a lot! Trying not to think of what a mess I am making of a great story idea, because hey, I can always tidy it up in the next draft 😉

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10 thoughts on “Why *star charts* are awesome”

  1. You should totally do a start chart for yourself too! I bet if you put it up with the girls ones then they’d be able to cheer you on and that might help get you even more writing time.

    P.S. I have been watching way too much Supernanny!

    1. I hadn’t thought about getting the girls to cheer me on, but you know what? That’s not a bad idea – Ivy has taken an interest in the fact I write, and is happy for me that I got a story published, so she might be handy to have onside.

    1. I think there will always be things that need to be worked around – the routine in this house is going to be changing every month for the next several years I think. Things don’t really settle into a solid pattern until all the kids are in school which is awhile away. Just gotta make the most of it 🙂

      I really should have done star charts before now… but oh well! lol better late than never, and perhaps now was simply the right time for them.

  2. My first thought was, hey, a horoscope! If I know to watch out for cranky Pisces, that makes my life easier.

    But your idea is better. Makes nice artwork for the fridge, too. Writers? Yes, writers should get stars, happy faces, butterflies. And if we’re good all week, we get to eat as many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as we want on Saturday. Mmm.

    Glad the kids are taking to it. You rock, Mom!

    1. Thanks Texanne 🙂 I’m certainly feeling like I rock at the moment with the Mum stuff.

      I love that star charts can bring a little bit of fun and whimsy back to adulthood. I want some butterfly stickers now! lol

      I can’t say that I know many piscies, but my two youngest girls are both other water signs, combined with eldest and hubby being air signs… and I’m a fire. Interesting combination! lol

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