A Pocket Full of Pennies

If you are close to me then you might hear me jingle when I walk. You might also wonder why or how I’ve come to have a pocketful of pennies. Well if you were one of my kiddos there is a good chance that that jingle means that I’ve caught them being good.

As part of my newest positive parenting technique I’ve decided to start carrying around a pocketful of pennies. Every time I catch my kids doing something good I’ll give them a penny. My kids love money as do most kids and this is a fun way for them to earn a little bit to put in their piggy banks.

Some examples of catching them ‘being good’ would be if big sister is helping little brother put on his shoes without being asked. Maybe little brother found some stickers stuck to floor and he is working on scraping them up without being told. Also I’ve caught them taking care of their chores without being reminded.

Also we have been working a lot on making ‘good choices’. I have one child, in particular, who is extremely impulsive and will make some really ‘bad choices’ on a daily basis. When I see that the kids are making good choices when it comes to something we’ve been working on I may be able to catch them in the act and reward them with a penny or a hug. They love this extra bit of attention and the fact that their piggies are getting quite fat.

Now sometimes they just get a big hug or some kind of ‘atta boy’ in exchange for the deed. I don’t want them to think that they will always be rewarded monetarily for every good behavior that they display. I just want to try to focus more on the good than the bad as sometimes we can get stuck in a parenting rut where it feel like we are just spinning tires and going nowhere.

Please note that I am not an expert in the field of parenting but I do have a little bit of experience in the area.This method of rewarding good behavior seems to be working, for now. I am hoping that this will help to encourage them to demonstrate kindness to one another on a regular basis and learn that being responsible can and will pay off.


So many choices!

I don’t know about you but sometimes I get overwhelmed by the number of choices I have to make everyday. Choices about what to make for dinner, what to wear, and heaven forbid that I need to buy a new appliance or gadget for the house.

Everywhere we look there are choices. So much marketing about what is the best choice and why we need one brand versus another brand. So much persuasion about how things will make our lives better or how we just can’t go on another day without a certain product.

I try to be as informed as I can be about every choice I make. If it is a big financial decision then I try to take my time to think about it and weigh my options. Sometimes I overanalyze the decisions and sometimes I just fail to make one and it gets made for me. So how can we make sure that we make the best choices?

When it comes to the things about what to wear or what to eat then those are usually fairly simple. I keep my clothes weeded out and organized so I don’t have too many choices. I have something for about every occasion but I don’t keep an overabundance of clothes. As far as meals go, I always try to plan ahead and I have our menu on a rotating schedule. This helps me narrow down that ‘What’s for dinner?’ dilemna. (See meal planning for more info.)

For the bigger decisions I always try to ask God for His guidance no matter how big or how small the decision is. When I was married I would also consult with my husband and have him to help me with the decision. If I am still in doubt I will try to find someone knowledgeable about the product and ask their opinion. I check reviews for the product and/or service before making my decision.

We need to learn to be as informed as possible in making decisions. Sometimes we don’t always have days or months to gather information or ponder over what to do. Each of us is different in the way we handle our decision making and sometimes we need to pray for guidance and wisdom. If we go ahead and pray for that right now then we will prepared for whatever lies ahead.

This is especially important when we have children who are looking up to us and watching everything we do. Now the decision to buy the automatic coffee maker over the manual may not be something that really affects them but there are and will be other choices that do. They are watching us and learning from us when we are making choices in life. They see the big choices and whether you realize it or not they see the little ones as well.

The way we handle these decisions is helping to mold our children in the ways they will handle their future problems.We need to make sure that we’re setting good examples with our decision making process. We can help them by allowing them to make choices from an early age. Decisions about what to wear or what snack to eat. I’m not saying to give them free reign but present them with a couple of options. The younger the child, or the less mature, then the fewer choice options they should have. Maybe let them pick from two outfits or two different snacks.

It is important that they learn to do this as we need to practice skills to get better at them. When they make choice help them to stick by it, when appropriate, and let them learn the rewards and consequences of their choices.By showing them how to make responsible choices and how to accept the consequences our decisions we will be helping them to be more responsible adults.