Like many families, we ebb and flow in and out of consistency. We seem to have a successful streak and get a little lazy with our discipline. Then things start to turn into bad habits so we get a little strict and reteach the skills we want the kids to develop in self control. I'm a big believer in Love and Logic and Positive Discipline. I have a mommy-reliant little guy that totally responds to the former and an independent daughter that responds well to the latter. So when things start to slide a little and it's time to reinforce the good habits we want around the house, I pull these books off the shelf again for a refresher course.
So this season (we have quarterly "boot camps" it seems) I've made a chart that seems to really inspire both kids to do well. They each have a photo of themselves on their bikes and a chart that leads up to 12. They are asked to move their bikes up the "mountain" when I catch them being good, and move down a number when the opposite is true. When they hit 5, and then again at 12, they get to draw a prize out of the bowl. These consist of little folded pieces of paper with free treasures, like picking a show, having one lollipop, 30 minutes alone with one parent, an extra bedtime story, picking supper for the night, helping to cook it, etc. So far my daughter really grasps it and True just feels great when we all clap for him, but he's not totally getting the upward movement idea.
Secondly, I've reintroduced the timer, which then becomes the notifier of when clean up should be finished, when it's time to get ready for bed, taking turns with a toy, etc. This is a fabulous, cheap little gem that takes Mommy out of the equation and leads to less power struggles.
Lastly, I posted a schedule of our days. This seems a little drill-sergeantish to me, but I can simply refer to it when the kids seem really irked that it's time to brush teeth when they'd much rather be smashing leftover blueberries or climbing on one another until the other one screams in pain. I point to the chart and all the good cop/bad cop issues are out the window.
Wish me luck!