"You're only as strong as your weakest link."
Every age brings new adventures and challenges. While I am enjoying ages seven and four, the sass and attitude and crying for stupid reasons are on my last nerves. I get frustrated, especially at the end of the day and lose my patience. My patience is especially thin once a month. (The truth hurts, ladies.)
In an effort to help the girls change their behavior and in an effort to remind myself to take things in stride, I created yet another behavior plan. E1 and I are visual learners and it is important for both of us to have a reminder that we can see.
We sat the girls down and explained that as a family we all impact each other's daily lives. If someone is having a bad day, it can cause a ripple effect. As a family, we all need to work together to be helpful and positive and try our best. I explained the saying of you are only as strong as your weakest link. We talked about an actual chain and how if one piece is broken, the chain itself is now broken or not as strong. E1 understood the saying and we chatted about our family being a unit, a chain, and how the saying related to our daily lives. And then we started our family chain.
The girls can earn a link for having an overall good day - listening, not losing their tempers, sharing, not crying over stupid reasons, etc. They do not lose the link on the first cry, sass, attitude, poor decision. I remind them we are earning links and so far, after one reminder (occasionally two reminders) I can see them trying to correct their behavior or thinking before they act. I earn a link if I do not yell or lose my patience too quickly. E1 gets the vote at the end of the day whether or not I earned my link. She LOVED this aspect of the family chain. The hubs has the same goals as I do.
When our chain hits the floor we all are rewarded with a family activity. It can be a board game, a movie, a meal together, playing outside, anything we all agree to but only the four of us may participate in the activity.
There is nothing more important to me than family and I want the girls to have the same passion for family. I want them to rely on our family and know that together, we can accomplish anything. In full honesty, the chain is the most necessary for E1 and then myself, but since we all have room to grow and improve we kept this realization to ourselves and created the family chain. After all, you are only as strong as your weakest link.