Ask any parent, parenting isn’t simply a walk in the park.
Imagine being woken up by your kids at 2:37 a.m. Imagine the little ones rolling their eyes at you, or refusing dinner, then asking for a snack 10 minutes later?
When your child wets the bed again and again, can you remain calm and collected? Would you lose your temper, scream, and yell at your kids if they misbehave?
My happy kids in my happy place. I love this life.
Instead of berating the child, Maralee Bradley, a mom of six young children (four of them adopted), had a brilliant idea of using her kids’ bags of Halloween candy to teach them.
“Right before Halloween I started seeing a picture floating around social media that was titled ‘You ate it. Now negate it.’ It had the calorie counts for candy bars and then what exercises you could do to burn them off,” Bradley, from Lincoln, Nebraska, wrote for Love What Matters.
“Um, no thank you. Motherhood is hard enough without candy guilt.”
“So I whipped up this little chart to put a different spin on it,” she added.
Bradley has crafted a tongue-in-cheek candy-based reward chart, designed to pamper herself whenever she stays calm when her kids misbehave.
Around Halloween I kept seeing this picture go around that listed different candies, their calorie count and what kind…
On the chart, which is depicted in her blog, A Musing Maralee, Bradley makes it clear that:
If she reassures her kids that it’s okay when they wet the bed, she can eat a Butterfinger candy bar.
If she remains calm when her kids roll their eyes at her, she can eat an Original SweeTARTS candy.
Six of the best things that have ever happened in this world.
If she cleans out the full sippy cup her kids left behind the couch, she can eat a mini Twix chocolate cookie candy.
If she doesn’t throw a dish at the wall whenever her kids refuse dinner, but ask for a snack 10 minutes later, she will reward herself with a Starburst candy.
And if she lovingly meets all her kids’ needs whenever they wake her up at 2:37 a.m., she will reward herself with a mini Milky Way!
Teddy Easter, 2015Blue eyes + dimple + double chin= handsome. . . to Mommy
Other than rewarding her, the chart has become a quirky method to eliminate the guilt she might have felt for devouring her kids’ Halloween candy. This gives her an excuse to enjoy the snacks too!
But, most importantly, this was a way to motivate her to strive to be the loving parent her children need.
Train up a child in the way he should go. . . (Teddy and Me, post Thanksgiving puzzles)
“As I wrote out the chart, I thought about what it means to be the kind of parent our kids need. They need to know we forgive them, and we understand that everybody makes mistakes,” Bradley wrote.
“They need us to handle the dirty jobs of motherhood with compassion.”
#workingmom(Photo by Rebecca Lawton Tredway)
Speaking to GMA, Bradley said: “It’s not that important to me to burn off a Snickers. It’s actually important to me to feel like I’m being a good mom and rewarding myself and not feeling guilty for that.”
A sweet reward chart to encourage patient parenting, perhaps other stressed-out moms should give this a try too.