How good are you at motivating yourself to stick to regular practice of something? Me - sometimes I'm good, sometimes not so good.
I'm a fan of check lists, and tables to record things in, to help get things done.
For example - our eldest daughter is learning the clarinet just now as part of the school brass and wind programme. She has a notebook to write in each week, when and how much she practices. She knows the teacher will check this each week, so this helps to encourage her to practice!
I've mentioned before that our elder daughter and I have less than perfect eyesight and we're both using eye exercises to help improve that. Back in March, we started using a chart to record when we did our exercises - aiming to do them three times each day.
I have to say here, that my eyesight has since improved heaps and I no longer need glasses (I've used them since the age of around 10 for distance vision).
Lately however, we've both become quite slack, and our chart has been blank quite a lot of times!
After a trip to the opticians, our daughter was also told that one of her eyes isn't working as much as the other and the optician recommended the use of an eye-patch to help stimulate it to work. We were told that this is something that needs fixing while she's young to avoid the need for glasses, so it's really important that she uses this eye-patch.
However - I know she find this uncomfortable and right now she's not having any problems seeing at school, she can read the board fine and so has no real incentive to do the exercises - other than knowing they are helping her!
If she doesn't practice her clarinet enough - her teacher may tell her off, but there aren't likely to be any serious consequences from that. However - if she doesn't use her eye-patch and exercise her eyes now, potentially she will need glasses and her eyesight will deteriorate.
This is something I feel is very important to stick to, and so I need to find a way to make sure she sticks to the exercises and eye-patching each day. So what to do?
I think I'll go the route of financial reward again. I used this recently as a week long challenge to stop negative comments and moans and groans! It was very successful in getting our girls to think about what they were doing!
So - it's 15 weeks until the end of the school year. I'm going to use this fixed time to offer a financial incentive for each week our daughter does all of her eye exercises and eye-patching every day. Then at the end of the 15 weeks, an added larger bonus, if she's completed the full 15 weeks successfully!
Hopefully this will provide a good enough incentive to get her into the habit of exercising her eyes and will be a long enough foundation to stimulate her weaker eye. She should also see some tangible progress on the eye charts in that time, which should help her continue thereafter!
Of course then I just know our younger daughter will want to join in and have the chance to earn herself an equal amount of money too - so we shall have to think of something she can do each day and check off on a chart too!
What do you think of using money as a reward to get your kids to do things? How do you stop them then asking for a financial reward for everything they do? For doing their homework etc?
What alternate ways could we use to get our kids to stick to an important daily routine?