Thursday, January 21, 2010

My New Cardio Workout and Heart Chart

This morning a friend picked Rachel up for our Thursday playgroup. Emily and I spent a lazy couple of hours just hanging out and then she almost took a morning nap for me. She didn't, of course, probably because she was afraid I would be lonely. She's thoughtful like that.

So, with my little shadow following, I attempted to get some cleaning done. I organized papers. She tried to eat one. I dusted and cleaned the computer desk. She tried to eat the dust cloth. I swept the kitchen, the entryway, and the computer room. She tried to eat everything I swept up.

Anymore, she is quite fast! Sweeping has become a sport. As soon as she sees the broom in my hand, the race is on. Today, it occurred to me that I have to sweep so fast to stay ahead of her that I'm really getting a workout!

So, if you ask me if I have been exercising lately, I will answer "yes!" I got a cardio workout just this morning.

Also this morning, I took the time to finally hang our "Heart Chart" up on the wall.

What's a "Heart Chart?"

I'm so glad you asked.

One thing that I find difficult about raising 5 kids is that if I'm not careful, I can spend an entire day being negative. Someone is always in trouble. Or about to be. Sometimes, the good that one child is doing gets overlooked because at the moment I'm prying a weapon from Rachel's hand. (And by "weapon" I mean, whatever toy it is that she is using to beat on Garrett.)

In an effort to make sure I focus on praising good behavior and not just on the discipline, I created what Aidan has named, "The Heart Chart."

It's just a simple piece of poster board with a Bible verse and many, many hand drawn hearts. Together we memorize the verse. The first few charts were verses related to how God asks us to treat each other. The verse we are memorizing now is Deuteronomy 5:16 "Honor your father and your mother as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and it will go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you."

Then when Gary and I "catch" one of the kids doing something that honors us, we point it out and praise them for it. Then they get a sticker to place over one of the hearts.

When all of the hearts have been covered with stickers, and everyone can say the verse from memory, the whole family gets a reward. This time, the reward we are looking forward to is a night at the movie theater!

I like that we have something that keeps us focused on the positive. I like that we have something that draws attention to good deeds. In a house with 5 kids it is too easy for negative behavior to become the easiest way to get attention. I also like that they are learning that the rules we have for them are not our rules, but God's.