Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I am not sure whether it is the cold weather, the lack of sleep we had during a particular week (due to coughs at night and various other factors) or just the fact that Colton is starting to "stand up" to his "bossy" big sister ;), but the kiddos have been struggling with being kind to each other.  Multiple times throughout the day I hear the kids arguing about who gets to open the door, who gets to say the verse of the week first, who gets to climb in the van first, who gets to play with a certain toy first, etc etc etc.  Not only do I strongly dislike the sound of bickering (as does God!), but even more so I do not like their heart attitudes that selfishly want to put themselves first.  After looking for ideas in one of my favorite books, Creative Correction, I mixed together some of the ideas I found in a chapter on sibling interactions aptly entitled "world war III" and decided to proactively identify and work on the value of kindness in Summer and Colton.

I decided to create a sticker chart using the theme "Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven" (from Matthew 6:20).  I printed out two piggy bank coloring sheets and wrote short verses on them that specifically deal with the issues we are working on:
  • Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers
  • 1 Corinthians 13:1 Love is kind
  • Matthew 20:16 The last with be first and the first will be last.
  • Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one-another
  • Mark 10:43 Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant.
  • Romans 12:21 Overcome evil with good.

I put both charts on the fridge, along with a sticker pad for each kiddo (smilies for Summer and sports balls for Colton).

At breakfast the next morning we discussed the verses together.  The kids then helped me make a list of things they could do that would allow them to put a kindness sticker on their piggy bank.  We made sure to emphasize that the kind act had to be towards their brother or sister (not a friend or parent!).  The kids took turns coming up with something, and then I wrote a list.  I suggested a few, but most of these were suggested by them.  This is what they came up with:

The kids were very excited to start!  Summer caught on right away, and immediately got to work creating ways to be kind.  Colton didn't catch on right away and enjoyed "receiving" all of Summer's acts of kindness ;), so several time throughout the day I would "make" him earn a sticker by having him go back, repeat the situation, and let Summer go first, etc.  After a full week, Colton has really caught on and  now they are both constantly saying, "You go first and I'll go last"!

We did have to address an issue this morning when they started arguing about who would go last so that they could put a kindness sticker on, lol!  I would hear, "you go first, Colton."  "No you go first, Summer!"  In talking through the situations, we came up with a plan: One kiddo says "you go first and I'll go last".  The other kiddo can choose to go first, or respond with, "thank you, but you can go first."  To which the first will reply, "thank you".  If this sequence happens, BOTH kids get to put a kindness sticker on and Mommy has a huge smile :).  Both kids liked this solution, and the kindness stickers have been multiplying.  
The charts currently look like this.
 I care most about their hearts.  I am hoping that through lots of practice, a habit will develop where they are thinking about others ahead of themselves.  Already I have seen a HUGE improvement in the number of arguments, and when they do argue, all I need to say is, "I am watching to see who will earn a kindness sticker" - and at least one if not both are quick to resolve the issue.

Summer helping Colton put his shoes on
The reward for sticking all 104 stickers on their chart is a one-on-one date with Mommy or Daddy (I got this idea from my friend Kaity and I love it!) and we are already having fun talking about what that date will be :). 


Kristin Bjorklund said...

Kel you're so amazing!! Don't forget all these things so you can remind me of them when I'm a mom!!!

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