Monday, May 23, 2016
& The Sheriff Came
I decided I would stop. No more reminders. The sheriff would just have to come, & that's how the big idea began! I rounded up quarters from our loose change stash. My idea was to have each a cute little mason jar but I didn't have 5 small empty ones on hand. I had to improvise with antique glasses. Each child chose their own shape & color. The kiddos cut them out & fixed them with stickers, excited to hear what would take place. An even number of 8 quarters were added to each cup. The youngest, Graham, was sworn in as Sheriff 1st. Each morning would mean a new Sheriff would come to "town". The little ones really loved it! If your things were left in the vehicle, your clothes in the floor, etc the Sheriff would fine you & then you still had to make it right (enters the teaching moment for God loving you enough not to let you continue in sin). Different times during the day when toys would begin to get strung & strewn & left out, I would set the kitchen timer. The Sheriff had to set the best example in order to do his job. When the timer would go off, the Sheriff would be turned loose to hold those accountable who had left their messes. A fine would be paid to the Sheriff. Then, the offender would be sent back finish the task (enters love, mercy, grace, pardon). Yes sometimes hard headedness would kick in, but it only worked against them. Soon they figured that out at their own loss. The new Sheriff didn't tire as Mommy sometimes does & move on to something else. The new Sheriff stuck it out & earned the other's quarters while I happily went about my business. Win! Win! The only looser was the one who wasn't minding & only harming himself/herself. Yes, there were also opportunities to gain quarters. I would catch someone being good & give an extra to the Sheriff to reward to the proper citizen. The game was catchy! Soon our little soldiers were falling in line again in the name of fun without the constant reminders & me having to do all of the mundane discipline.
The rewards & fines began to stack up! They enjoyed peeking into the cups to see who seemed to have the most. I wouldn't let them count them until the week end to see where they stood. Marianna was in the lead. The others would tighten up & readjust. She kept on shinning! At the end of 2 weeks, we counted & evened out the money once again. Everyone seemed excited to start over, determining that she would not beat again & earn the SURPRISE. 2 more weeks passed. Guess who the winner was? Marianna! What's so funny is that she is normally our slacker. She was rewarded everyone's quarters! It was almost $50! I took her to cash it in & pick out a prize. They all enjoyed it & keep begging to do this again. The change was some we weren't using & will probably never miss, but I pray the lessons learned will stick around a while! If not, I may have to call the sheriff again!