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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Guest Post: Happy Helpers

I am delighted to have Becky Jane from Rise Above Your Limits guest posting here on Grandma Bonnie's Closet. I hope you all enjoy her post. Please stop over to her blog and see what a mother of eleven children has to say!

Happy Helpers
Let’s face it…it’s a roller coaster ride when it comes to getting consistent, good help from our kids! 

If you’re the Mother of more than one child, you might have noticed that there are times when one of them is especially helpful, and the others are especially un-helpful.  This has always been a dilemma for me.  

I am always grateful when one of my kids picks up a mess without being told, doesn't argue when asked to do a chore or actually does their chores without being asked.  I’m especially grateful for the kid that is extra cheerful and kind!  *smiling*

HERE’S THE DELIMA…the child that is being extra helpful can see that he/she is doing more work and it isn't fair...HOW do I encourage this child to continue on and yet not feel picked on because of their good deeds?

Right now, my best helper is my 12 year old son.  He seems to be always there and ready to help when everyone else is complaining about helping, and sometimes he gets tired of it.  He likes to help (I know, enjoy it while it lasts), but I don’t want him to feel over-USED while everyone else is playing and having a good time.

Several years ago I came up with a solution...a way of secretly rewarding that special helper child.  In my closet I have a special tote with 'THINGS' in it...things that my kids like such as toys, umbrellas, fun socks, hair stuff (for the girls) etc., and of course $$$ (for the older ones)!  Whenever I see someone repeatedly going the extra mile, I secretly pull them aside and let them pick something out of the tote. 

The only rule I have is they cannot tell the other kids that they got something; it must be kept a secret!  This makes it even more fun for them!  They also understand that their rewards will come at inconsistent times…they can’t ask for a reward or expect to be rewarded every time they are good. (Being good has its own rewards)!

In order not to break-the-bank, I keep my eye out for sales and the dollar store carries some fun items too!  Don’t make it a financial burden, keep the ‘THINGS’ inexpensive yet fun!

This system of secret recognition has worked out quite well for our family.  The child is rewarded and encouraged to keep up the good work!

Being the Mother of 11 children, I hope I’ve learned a few things…

Written by - Becky Jane author of http://RiseAboveYourLimits.blogspot.com/


  1. Thanks Bonnie for letting me Guest Post on your fun blog! Hope you're holiday is terrific!

  2. What a terrific idea Becky Jane! I am visiting from Rise Above Your Limits :D

  3. I am stopping over from Rise Above Your Limits. I love Becky Janes blog and try to check out every time she posts.

    What Great Ideas Becky has. I would never of thought of that, but then I only had one child.

    Thank you so much Grandma Bonnie for having Becky Jane Guest Post, and thank You Becky Jane for another wonderful post.

  4. I am definitely going to try this with Abby. What a great guest post.

  5. This is a really good idea! I have one child who always seems to do more than the others, too. I've been feeling over the last few weeks that I need to do something to reward him - and this is just the idea I needed.


  6. If you have 11 kids, you have learned a lot! I managed to learn a lot from only 5! Among the 5, I have 2 autistic kids, 2 with ADHD, and one, well, one other kid. Trying to apportion chores in a fair way was always a challenge, but all the kids rotate the same list of chores.

    My kids always took care of most everything in the house. I am a single mom, and as I told them, my job was to work in order to pay for food and the roof over our heads and their educations. Their job was to do everything else! So they all took their turns with the various chores. As you observed, some were more willing helpers than others, and some were better at some chores than others.

    Holding everyone responsible and accountable while acknowledging the extra effort by the more willing helpers is a tough challenge. Sounds like you came up with a great plan.

  7. Hi! I'm visiting from 'Rise Above Your Limits' and I just loved this post! It is such a unique way of rewarding the kids! I'll need to do this when mine get a little older!


  8. I'm coming over from Rise Above Your Limits. I'm a great admirer of Becky Jane and the way she keeps such strong family ties while raising a group of healthy happy children.
    Great post, Becky

  9. Really appreciate you actively participating and visiting other blogs at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop. Hope you'll continually share your creativity with us at the weekly party :)

  10. Oooo, good one Becky Jane!! You rock!

  11. I'm a big fan of Becky Jane's and Rise above your limits!! Becky, this is a great idea, my 12 year old is wonderful with his brother and sister and is always helping me out, I will try this with him and even the younger ones when they are going above and beyond! Thanks to both of you for a great and useful visit!

  12. What a creative idea Becky Jane! So fun!

  13. Very creative incentive program, Becky Jane. How on earth do you get the little ones to remain "mum" about it though?

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  14. What a great idea! Bonnie, thanks for popping in for a visit at TheDedicatedHouse and for the follow. I'm following you back. Tootles, Kathryn

  15. All of your wonderful comments are making me blush! Thanks for being so kind!

    Liz...if they have ever told I never knew about it...lol

  16. Hi! Following you back from the blog hop. I subbed thru email (so I can read at work...lol).
    Your grandchildren are adorable. I love the costume post with them in their outfits. So cute!

  17. Hi there. I am now following you back. You have some sweet grandkids there.


  18. Hi, I wanted you to know your comment for the Miracle Makeover Cancer Fundraiser did not go unnoticed! The founder gave us all an award you can see here: http://playfuldecor.blogspot.com/2011/08/miracle-makeover-appreciation.html

    Thanks again!!