Being a parent is a totally rewarding, completely fun, and continually changing job, but yes, it’s sometimes crazy, difficult, challenging, and frustrating.
No two days are ever the same, and what begins as a great morning for one kiddo can be a rocky, awful, stressful one for another.
It’s the hardest J-O-B I ever signed up for, and I sometimes laugh recalling that I once thought that having kids would be easier than teaching English to 140 ninth and tenth graders.
It is the greatest joy, however, watching your little ones learn and grow, and that is a fact. I am grateful every day for Maddy, Owen, and Cora, though not a day goes by when I don’t learn something myself thanks to these three little ones.
But one thing that has helped us keep our parenting sanity is managing our home in some of the same ways my husband and I managed our classrooms way back when. Not always perfect, mind you, and a constant work in progress, using teeny, tiny little gems has really made a difference.
This post has yielded the most personal emails to me than any other, so I thought it was worth sharing. It’s a definite top 10.
And though it requires some serious thinking, the effects of playing on positive behavior versus reacting to negative behavior are well worth the ‘gems’.
Here we go. . .
- teach mama’s top 10 all-time best countdown, #8: Gem Jars
Gem Jars — helping parents keep their sanity, one day at a time.
Our Gem Jars are just that–glass jars I picked up (on sale) at the craft store and from our recycle bin, and the ‘gems’ are those clear glass beads that we love over here and have used time and time again as bingo markers.
I bought black letter stickers so I could put each family member’s name on a jar. Maddy, Owen, and Cora each have a jar, and there’s even one for Mom, Dad, and Brady.
The deal with the Gem Jars is simple, and it’s one that’s been supported by research over and over and over again: rewarding positive behavior.
Read more about Gem Jars . . .
Tomorrow: teach mama’s top 10 all-time best countdown, #7.