Create your own Sparkle Box from a shoebox, decorate a box from a craft store, or find the original fold-out Sparkle Box and book at the link below.
I was so tired of constantly reminding my kids after meals to fill their water bottles up, clear their dishes, and do their jobs, so I came up with this incentive chart.
It’s worked wonders.
We’ve been doing it several weeks and just about every single meal, all three of them jump up to put their dishes in the dishwasher, fill their water bottles up, and vacuum, wash or clear the table, and help out with whatever other needs there are without being asked.
This is how it works:
- After a meal, if they fill their water up and put their dishes in the dish washer, they get to “clip up”- move their clip up once. If they forget to, they have to “clip down”- move their clip down once.
- If they find a need around mealtime and help out without being asked, whether they set the table, wipe the table afterward, sweep or vacuum, they get to “clip up.”
- I counted by 2’s on the chart and it goes up to 60. Your numbers can signify anything – whatever would be motivating to your child.
- For us, the numbers on the chart represent minutes for computer time on the weekend. We don’t usually do electronics during the week, so this is a treat for them. The most they can earn on a weekend is an hour. You can do more or less minutes- whatever works for you.
You need to adjust it based on what works for your family, but after doing this two weeks, my son who used to constantly forgot to clear his plate, has been remembering every meal and going above and beyond to help out.
I used to assign a job for each kid such as setting the table, clearing the table, etc., but I like the idea of teaching them to see a need and jumping into help, so this is what we have been doing. We’ll probably go back to assigning jobs at some point, but this is working great right now.
We won’t do this chart forever, but it’s offered wonderful and positive reinforcement to begin good habits that will hopefully carry on.
As humans, I think we all respond well to a little positive reinforcement, and I’d much rather do something like this than nagging reminders or constant consequences.
Give it a try and share it with another mama.
We’re all in this together: raising these little miracles. Thank you, Lord.
Change up the monotony & normal routine for your kiddos.
Yesterday before school at 6:45am, I threw some towels on the ground and we had a “campfire breakfast by lantern.” 😂
So simple, but the kids loved it. And, simple clean up – I loved that.
It can change the whole mood of the morning by throwing a twist in it. Share some of your fun ideas below.
Let’s bring some fun, silliness, & spontaneity to parenthood. 😊
Those first day school jitters can be tough. And for so many of our kids, those “jitters” come throughout the school year.
In first grade, my daughter went through a time where she didn’t want to go to school for days. Every night at bedtime, she cried and complained of stomach aches. We brought her to the doctor for an x-ray since it had happened so many times and she seemed to be in a lot of pain, but everything checked out perfectly.
We finally realized our daughter was experiencing anxiety. We prayed together and I affirmed her. And, then someone mentioned a practical way to me to help her get through it.
I took my daughter to the store and let her pick out a special stuffed animal. I told her that it would help her get through the anxiety. She walked straight to the grey bunny on the shelf and said, “That’s the one.”
She named her “Peace”.
That night was the first night in a long time my daughter slept in peace. We continued praying for our daughter and reading Scripture with her. And, each night, she held Peace tight.
Anxiety disappeared for about eight months. Then, the stomach aches and tears returned. She didn’t want to go to school again. I held her close and comforted her.
That morning, we packed Peace in her backpack. At school drop-off, she clung to me with tears covering her cheeks. I wanted to take her with me to protect her from those painful feelings.
But I knew my daughter needed to see for herself that she could indeed get through the day and that she would be just fine. Seeing this would help her overcome the anxiety. I told her that the Lord would keep her strong and that Peace would be with her.
My daughter ended up having a great day and was stronger because she learned that she could do it. She later said, “Mommy, my tummy aches are gone!”
Some anxiety does indeed require more serious interventions. But, in my daughter’s situation, encouragement, prayer, and a simple stuffed animal named Peace was just what she needed.
Lord, we pray that you would be with our children as they walk into their schools. Fill them with your peace, your confidence, your presence. Protect them by the power of your name. I pray for their teachers – that you would guide them and give them strength. I pray our kids would be drawn to great friends and that they would be lights for you. I pray that you would replace any anxiety with your peace and that they would get their confidence from you. In Jesus’ name, amen. ❤️
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jesus (John 14:27)
Just as Jesus took the time and heart to SHOW us how to love and serve, we get to do the same with our kids.
When John 13 takes place, Jesus knows he is about to endure the cross. In the midst of all the emotions he must have felt, “having LOVED his own who were in the world,” he bent low and washed his disciples’ feet. His disciples didn’t understand why Jesus would take that place of humility and do that.
Jesus told them, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you…As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:15, 34
There are so many changes as we raise our kids. And so many changes in life in general. We’ve spent almost a month in hotels because of moving. This morning, I felt overwhelmed (no dishes and or making beds has been great, but 8-year-old triplets in this tiny space- you can imagine. 😂)
Everything in our lives seems to be changing… a new city, a new house, new friends – everything is just new. It can be exciting, but it can also be a lot.
After living in Atlanta, Guatemala, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and South Carolina over the past 20 years, I sure have seen a lot of change. But, as I prayed this morning, I was comforted by the words the Lord settled into my heart: The Lord. Does. Not. Change.
Wherever you are today, if you feel the floor beneath you slipping or if you are rejoicing, remember that the Lord doesn’t change. He is strong. He is capable. He is.
The Lord is near. The Lord is here. He goes ahead of you. Before you. Beside you. With you. The Lord. Does. Not. Change.
Now, bring on the adventure!
A prayer for you and your family today:
Lord, help us reach “Godliness with contentment” in the small and big things so we can honor you, and so our kids will be more likely to do the same. ❤️ In Jesus’ name, amen.
My daughter can be sooooo slow getting ready. I found myself getting really frustrated trying to get out the door, and rushing her. Then, I read this verse: “Calmness can lay great errors to rest.” (Eccl. 10:4)
That morning, instead of hollering up to my daughter to hurry up and come downstairs, I went up to see if she needed any help. After trying the former many times, I prefer the latter. We walked downstairs to breakfast in peace.
Before we left for school, we started the process five minutes earlier, so even though she was taking a long time to simply put her shoes on, I didn’t need to rush her.
The words, “Hurry up”, wanted to seep out of my mouth, but I sealed my lips.
And one minute later, she was ready. Our morning was much more peaceful for her, her siblings, and me, because I didn’t rush her.
One minute. It was worth it to bite my tongue.
Believe me, I’m not always that patient, but I sure hope to get better at it. Instead of creating moments of worry and anxiety, I can help create moments of joy and peace.
Instead of depleting those moments, we can add to them by LEADING with peace.
I love this quote from Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts” about one pastor’s greatest regret in life:
“Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing.”
Let’s embrace the thousand gifts, tens of thousands, right in front of us, by slowing down, mimicking our kids’ pace, and welcoming His peace.
Let Summer Begin!!!
As our children face the hurdles of growing up, let’s be their safe place, their refuge, the ones that are FOR them, so they know we are in it with them.
When we hit the peak of frustration and want to pull our hair out (been there!), let’s show our kids we are ON THEIR TEAM and WANT them to succeed. Even though they might have let us down, let’s not retaliate in anger.
Instead, let’s WIN THEM OVER by being FOR them.
Not to say we shouldn’t discipline or follow-through – the opposite actually. But, when we give consequences, THERE IS POWER IN FILTERING OUR WORDS THROUGH LOVE AND THE BELIEF THAT “I AM FOR YOU”. (Lord, please grace us with this gift!).
Regardless of whether our kids show it, especially as they get older, they need us. They need us being FOR them. On their side. On their team.
In those painful moments they push us away or speak hurtful words, they might need some alone time to calm down, but they always need us pursuing them. Choosing them. Believing in them.
While we’ll need grace over and over, the more we practice speaking in love and not in anger, the more naturally it will come. While none of us will be perfect in this, every day is a chance to try again.
To try to show the ones God has given us, that we love them, adore them, and that we are FOR them.
“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ…” Ephesians 4:15