... I've been reading a book entitled Creative Correction which I can't recommend highly enough. One of the idea themes in the book is to randomly reinforce good behavior rather than always nailing poor behavior. Catching your kids being good, so to speak. One of the author's ideas that we've implemented in the Skocelai household is the "Privilege Jar". In it are 10 scraps of paper with special things Emory is never allowed to do. Some of them include:
- dessert before supper
- a movie (a full-length one!)
- sleep in mom and dad's room
- juice box
- piece of candy from the candy bowl
- trip for an icee
Right now she is happily coloring at the table using one of momma's special pens. It's really just a Sharpie, and she never gets to touch it, but asks for it all the time. She feels blessed. What did she do to earn a privilege? Ethan had a major spit up which resulted in my receiving a handful of yuck. I was sitting down and had him in one hand and you-know-what in the other. I didn't want to create more mess by spilling the liquid I was holding. I was a little handicapped. Emory just happened to be nearby. All I did was utter a little panicky, "Uh, Emory?!", and she looked up, took in the situation, and immediately ran to get me a burp cloth... without my ever having to ask. If you know her at all, this is HUGE!
I know that a lot of people think children should just obey for the sake of obedience. And, they should. But, shouldn't you? However, God does give us blessings for our obedience. Not every time, and Emory doesn't to get to dip into the jar every time she does what I ask. It really averages about once a week.
I am convinced that if we are to emulate the God who lovingly gives us good tasty things to eat, warm climate-controlled homes to live in, colors in His world to enjoy, and the free gift of His grace, that we are to bless our kids with an unexpected icee once in a while.