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Friday, August 3, 2012

5 Minutes

The last few days have been rather bittersweet for me. As soon as the day of enrollment is upon us, we begin a countdown for the first day of school. This is an exciting time for our family. Ariel is beginning middle school, and Gabe will be in the third grade. Both children are too eager to grow up in my opinion.

I have been savoring these last couple weeks that I have with them. Every minute, and every second counts...

(Yesterday we took a day trip to Emporia to visit the zoo and treat ourselves to ice cream at Braums!)

As every second counts, that does not mean, every second is spent together. Not only do I want time with my children, I want it to be quality time. That means free of fighting, arguing, sassing, anything unpleasant to my ears.

The past month I've been rather disappointed in our inexpensive movie theater's selection. If you remember, I use this as a reward for my children on our grocery shopping days. The entire summer long, we've had one kid's movie to choose. I refuse to go back and pay to see it again, no matter how cute and funny it was the first time. This means, I had to get a little creative in my discipline. We no longer had the $10 in concessions money to work for.

This is where the 5 minutes comes in. During the summer I don't require any of my children to take a nap, this includes Zechariah. We would rather use the time to have fun. I can rest once schools starts!

So for the past couple of shopping trips, I have made my children team players. If anyone gets in trouble, the group gets penalized. This helps them try to work together. The penalty for getting in trouble is a 5 minute nap. For every wrong thing, I add an additional 5 minutes onto the nap. I chose to give a nap because almost all my children's impatience or wrong doings is the symptom of weariness, exhaustion, or lack of sleep.

The kids could be required to rest for 5 minutes, or one hour depending on how the group did as a whole. Last time it was a 15 minute nap, this time it was a 60 minute nap. I have been so impressed by the way the kids bond together during this. They have been so encouraging to each other and they try so hard to keep one another from complaining or arguing.

Zechariah is often the culprit on the minutes getting added on; however neither of my other children has given him grief about it. They realize it would harm them. I have considered doing every man for himself, but I don't believe it would encourage the team effort as well. Getting along with each other is my ultimate goal. When each of them gets penalized for their siblings wrong doing, they encourage rather than tear down. They are truly working together!

Once nap time is completed, everyone gathers together in our own living room for a $5 movie we chose while grocery shopping. We pick out boxes of candy and have our own concessions. It's been a lot of fun! Today we are watching Where the Red Fern Grows...

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