Each day I think more and more about giving up my job to become a stay at home mom. Giving up is probably not a proper term. It's not like I have a complete passion for my job by any means. Quit! That's better.
Each day I try and decide if what I am doing is best for my kids. Is it best for them that we race through the morning and scramble out the door in a mad dash as I am trying to get 4 people ready for their day in less than an hour. Is it best for them that when I get home at 5:30 I am in another scramble to make dinner, clean up the house, homework, baths, dishes, laundry and whatever else might be done before finally getting them to bed, late, every night.
I am torn. I don't know what is best for us to do. I have worked since I was 14. Legally since 14 anyway. I grew up in the family business, there was a nursery in the office and our parents would tote us along to work. As we got bigger we were sent to baby sitters but still, in the summer a few days a week we would be brought out to work to price groceries (way back in the days before scanners). So my job is a big security blanket for me. The idea of not working when you have done it for almost 20 years is just scary and even thinking about it causes me anxiety.
But now, more than ever, I think I need to make some decisions. My middle son is a struggle. A constant struggle. He is a wonderful, affectionate, loving little boy, who also happens to be bull headed, strong willed and can bring me to my breaking point daily. I think I need to make some serious changes for his sake. I really do not know what to do.
So for the past few weeks I have been researching different behavior systems to try before I go to the extreme of walking away from my paycheck. We have done chore charts in the past but both the kids and I quickly loose interest making it a complete waste. I think what will work best for us is a pre-planned system that all we need to do is 'insert family here' and go.
In looking for different products that I could achieve this with I found the Accountable Kids program. I had heard of this program before from a friend who was using it with fairly good success with her children. (She also has a difficult #2 child.) With this system the kids are awarded points for good behavior, chores, homework, cooperation and penalized by loosing points with bad behavior, not completing chores or homework. At the end of the week you tally up the points and award tickets to the kids based upon points earned. They then can turn their tickets in for special privileges such as playing video games, going out to eat, having a friend over, whatever is determined to be special privileges in your house. And the best part is, everything is planned out for you.
My husband doesn't know if he loves the idea of this program. So I will continue to look for some more. If anyone has any suggestions of good behavior/chore programs I'd love to hear from you.