I don’t claim to have the key to bringing up children. But those who are having problems with the behaviour of their kids can do worse than get themselves a “jart”.
Is your daughter refusing to get dressed in the morning without a tantrum? Stick it on the jart.
Is your son going into the shower and standing 1 mm from the arc of the droplets from the showerhead for ten mins then claiming he is thoroughly washed and ready to face the world? Put it on the jart.
The jart works thus. Take one piece of paper and draw a series of vertical lines. Call these lines Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and, yes, even Sunday. Every time your child conducts a misdemeanour put a sad face on the jart. For periods of nonsense free activity or gasp, actual acts of kindness, consideration or normal behaviour, stick up a smiley face. To enhance the learning aspect of the enterprise, stick a little wordage underneath each symbol, so that you can all remember what they were for. Junior Misssy’s jart reads thus for yesterday:
Walked past park without tantrum
Put wrapper in bin not behind couch
Wouldn’t do what she’s told
Made fun of Mum talking and was cheeky
Said she couldn’t care about the jart
Now the jart isn’t going to work if there are no consequences behind it. How many sad faces (or frownies) are you going to allow before a punishment kicks in, and what should these punishments be?
Perhaps you’d like to take inspiration from my system which works over the period a week?
10 frownies: No story at bedtime for three nights
15 frownies: exclusion from most looked forward to social event. In this case it’s “The Rainbow’s Disco” (think Studio 54 but in a village hall, and with the minister instead of Andy Warhol)
20 frownies: The cooler (see below)
25 frownies: The cooler with no baseball and glove
30 frownies: Being forced to watch a brain washing film whilst strapped to a chair to break spirit (illustration below)
50 frownies: Siberian labour camp in the 1950s
Alexandr Solzhenitsyn: Would get passed over
by publishers today in favour of the
Prison Diaries of Paris Hilton.
The problem comes when the kid turns the table on you. I got this* through the post yesterday.
I’m doing OK, but am terrified of what punishments Junior Misssy has in store if I screw up.
*NB: I want to point out two things:
1. Look at my daughter's instinctive, correct and fastidious use of an apostrophe- these things are clearly genetic.
2."Jart" is of course chart but spelled by Junior the way she says it.
Don't ever miss a Misssive, subscribe!