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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Movie & Concession Night

Like all great ideas these days, the seed for this one was planted in my mind by a similar idea I happened upon on pinterest. I took the original idea and tweaked it a bit and made it work for our family. Tonight will actually be our third movie and concession night so after doing this for almost a month straight, I can honestly say this works and it works well. The premise is simple-- the kids earn tickets by practicing first time obedience and doing some extra jobs around the house. The tickets can be cashed in once a week for a movie and snacks. Here are some simple guidelines for our movie night: 1. All tickets earned that week are only good for that week-- there are no carry overs till the next week. We did this so that they wouldn't work really hard one week and then slack off the next-- we want them to learn the value of consistentcy and diligence each week. 2. The person with the most tickets picks the movie-- a little extra incentive even if you have enough tickets to afford everything 3. Your tickets can't be taken away. You can loose the right to earn a ticket for a job if your attitude is less than desirable, but once you have earned the ticket, its yours for good. 4. We announce which night will be movie night a few days in advance so the kids know when they need to have all their tickets by. How the kids can earn tickets: This varies by age. For our 3 year old it might be wiping off the table, emptying the small drying rack, wiping off the bathroom sink, and other small tasks that are a big deal for our little one. For our 6 and 7 year olds they do things like vacuum a room, sweep steps, dust, windex the front door, water plants, and other helpful things. We had a plumbing emergency one week and our 7 year old was a big help to my husband and so we rewarded him with a few tickets in appreciation. On certain days if mommy, baby, and 3 year old desperately need a nap, they can earn a ticket for resting and reading quietly in their rooms. This is going to vary by family, but these are just a few ideas. They do not get a ticket for their regular morning jobs (making beds, getting dressed, and one household job each morning) or if they earned a job for misbehaving. What Tickets are good for: 10 tickets earn you the right to watch a movie. 3 tickets earn you snacks and 3 more tickets earn you a smoothie. Even though its a very special night, I still try and keep the treats healthy. On the first night my husband got a little carried away with some candy, but since Mommy and our oldest son cant have it, we have left it out the following weeks. This has worked really, really well for us. Especially after having a baby and having mommy doing feedings-- they aren't constantly begging to watch a movie, but rather asking how they can earn some tickets. The house is being kept tidier by everyone-- again a huge help after the baby. We also are currently on break from school, so this has made sure we aren't plopping in front of the boob tube all break long either. I did make one extra movie exception one day when daddy was working a longer week-- but they had all earned a good amount of tickets that day so it was a bonus and mommys pick (Annie get your gun). Hope this becomes a family tradition for years to come-- the best part is seeing the proud ticket bearers counting their tickets on movie night and then "buying" their snacks on their own! And check out a post from long ago on caught being good tickets--

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