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 😉