Wednesday, August 25, 2010

{not} losing their marbles

we are teaching our children, ages 5.5 and 2, how to respond with "yes ma'am" and "yes sir" instead of "yeah" or "uh-huh," "no" or "nah," "yep" or "yeppers," or any other {borderline rude} slang they can think up to reply. it's really a matter of respect. in teaching them to respond with these words of endearment, we're teaching them first time obedience (no arguing, negotiating, or back-talk), and to have a happy heart. it's pretty hard to say "yes ma'am" begrudgingly. try it.

to practice and encourage the "yes ma'am's" around here, we're using marbles. in Mason jars. one jar is full of marbles. the other is empty. every time Mom and Dad hear a polite reply, a "yes ma'am" or "no sir," one marble is moved from the full jar to the empty. the goal is to fill up the (current) empty jar, The Yes Ma'am Jar, with marbles, emptying the Uh-Huh Jar. 

what they don't want is to LOSE their marbles, by replying with an "uh-huh" or respond with an unhappy heart. 

in the 2 weeks we've been playing marbles, it's working. when i call my 5 year old to the dinner table, reminding her to wash her hands first, she stops what she's doing and says, "yes Ma'am." and she gets a marble in the jar. when i give my 2 year old a cup of water and i say "don't spill it, Bubba," he says, "yes Ma'am." and he gets a marble in the jar. 
marbles. in a Mason jar. so simple. yet so effective.

do marbles in a jar work for me? yes ma'am!

see what else is working for others- it's Works for Me Wednesday at!