Zero Tolerance Day

Today, I had to enforce a "zero tolerance" day for the kiddos.  We had a rough weekend and there is only one week of summer left!  What does a zero tolerance day look like for our family?  Here are the rules:
  • NO ELECTRONICS (Wii, TV, computers, DS, etc)
 I will have NO tolerance for any of the above hence, "Zero Tolerance Day".  I knew that I would need some kind of structure for the day in order to maintain my sanity.  I created a plan.  I usually like to tell the kids what the plan is for the day but, instead I went with a "you'll know what we're doing when we are doing it" attitude.  I planned a Bible study about attitude, a couple activities (I share one below), a trip to the library, work on chores, and have a "complain break".

One of the biggest challenges we have in the summer is the complaining... I'm boooored.  Why can't we go somewhere FUN today?  We always eat at home... blah blah blah.  It's like nails on a chalkboard!  I read an article today that gave me a fabulous idea.  Hold a "Complaint Break".  Set a time limit of 10 minutes and everyone gets to complain about anything they want for the allotted time and they can't complain for the rest of the day.  I am trying this today and it is working.  When one of the kids begin to complain, I tell them to hold it for the complain break.  One of my kiddos says, "If I hold it in until then it won't make sense then?  And, it won't matter later!"  Exactly, Baby.  Read more about the "Family Complaint Break" HERE.

One of the activities I did with the kids was called, "I Like..."  I gave them each a paper and a pen.  I told them they had 10 minutes to write down things they like about themselves.  My kiddos misunderstood the assignment a little but, I improvised and it was great.  They wrote down things they liked in general... pizza, nature, sports, etc.  After the 10 minutes was up, I collected their papers and looked for one thing that was common on all three papers (the first thing I found was "friends").  Then, I handed the papers back and told them to see how many common things they could find together on their lists.  It was great to see them working together!

Today has not only been a lesson for my kids, it has been training for Me.  I am trying to be more intentional with my parenting and I realize with my zero tolerance day that I am not very intentional on a day-to-day basis.  I like to treat my kids to lunch out or buy them a little something at the Dollar Store but, I realize that I treat them so often that they expect it every time we go out.  I have been feeding that "entitlement" attitude without even knowing it.  Zoinks.  Isn't it great when we can learn from our mistakes and move on?

School is literally around the corner and so is our routine but, I still want to be more intentional with my kiddos each day after school.  I would love to hear some ideas on how you are more intentional with your kids.  After school is so full of snack, homework, sports, etc.,  how do you fit quality time into your crazy school schedules?