A little more than a year ago, I read a post from Helen at Three Times the Giggles. I didn’t think it was applicable for our then-22-month olds, but I filed it away for future reference.
Helen is mom to 4 1/2-year old identical triplet boys, and a one-year old sweet baby girl. Helen uses a “Kid of the Day” system to cut down on the “it’s my turn to choose!” arguments that I imagine are pretty typical of families with more than one child.
I just revisited this post, and it still really piques my interest. A big thank-you to Helen for allowing us to share this on our site!
Last Monday we started something new in our house that I think is going to be a game-changer when it comes to reduced fighting and whining. We started a “Kid of the Day” program. Back when my babies were actually babies I remember some of the moms in my local triplet group talking about using this “Kid of the Day” thing with their preschool aged triplets, and I was intrigued. I asked a few questions and filed the idea away in my brain until the boys were old enough to grasp the concept.
Lately, the fighting and whining over who sits where in the car, what we listen to in the car, what we watch during quiet time, whose book gets read first, what game we play, what we eat for breakfast, etc. was getting old. Often it would be 2 against 1 and I couldn’t seem to get the boys to understand when they’d been “out-voted”, so I decided to turn to the Kid of the Day!
Last week we did a trial run and it was a huge success! There was a whole lot less fighting (other than the wrestling Jackson and Tyler do 10 times a day) and there was very little whining from those who weren’t getting their way. Here’s how the plan works (or, at least how I’m working it)…
First, I picked who would be “Kid of the Day” for each day this month. I just decided to start with Tyler (which caused a ton of drama from Chase on Day 1) and then repeated the cycle over and over, every day this month. I contemplated having one day be “my” day, but by the end of the week I couldn’t fathom not having a Kid of the Day to turn to for decisions!
Second, I made a list of various things the “Kid of the Day” would get to control. Here is just a sample of them (I add more as needed throughout the day):
- Pick what we eat for breakfast and lunch
- Pick snacks
- Gets first pick of where he wants to sit in the car
- Gets to pick what we listen to in the car
- Picks what the boys watch during quiet time each day
- Gets to push the garage door button
- Has their bedtime story read to them first
- Gets to pick which games we play
- If Nick or I has an errand to run and the other parent is home, the Kid of the Day gets to go on the errand
- Gets to use special dishes at meal time
- Decides where we go for fun stuff during the day (example: Do you want to go to the park with the train or the park near the sprayground?)
Do you see how this would reduce arguments in our house? It’s been fantastic! The boys are so excited when it’s “their” day. Last Wednesday Jackson came running out of his room at 7:30am and yelled “I’m Kid of the Day!”.
The boys know that they can lose their “Kid of the Day” privileges with bad behavior, but that hasn’t happened yet. I wish I’d started using this 4-5 months ago. I think they would have “gotten” it by then (so shortly before they turned 3).
If your kids (whether multiples or not!) are struggling with fighting and whining over things, give this program a try! And if you have multiples and aren’t in a multiples support group, get into one – the ideas I’ve taken from our triplet group have been worth more than you can imagine!
Helen is still using this program with her boys more than a year later. I asked if she had anything to add to her original post.
“The only thing I would add is that if you are a Love & Logic discipline model fan, or wanted to try Love & Logic but felt like it wouldn’t work with multiples, the Kid of the Day fits perfectly with it! Instead of asking all of the kids the “this or that” question, just ask the Kid of the Day.”
Thanks again to Helen!