giving back + small stuff…big kid coupons

The blogging world has a whole lot of information and ideas to share. Personally, I've taken a lot, and I've been thinking of ways to give back more frequently. So I've decided each time I use a "freebie" from my favorite bloggers, I will post a freebie of my own.

Freebie #1…Bid Kid Coupons

Perhaps, sharing these coupons airs more of our family's dirty laundry, but friends have responded positively to them and confess to implementing a similar system. We started using these about a year ago when D's sense of entitlement was at an all time high, and his family contribution was at an all time low! Immediate course correction was needed. I tried the responsibility charts, sticker charts, discussions…everything. As a last ditch effort, I made the "Big Boy" coupons. Success! 

I'm not sure why he responded to these. Maybe the size was smaller and less intimidating than a big chart, or perhaps he likes to punch the stars at the bottom. 

For each "responsibility" D completes, he gets to punch a star. He's a big-time negotiator. So, we negotiate how many stars he gets for particular achievements, but the REALLY big negotiations occur when he's accumulated a few coupons. He mostly cashes in his coupons for small toys, such as Hot Wheels or Legos, or an activity/outing involving a treat, like a trip to the Ferry Building for gelato or the Japanese Tea Gardens for cookies and green tea.

Does it sound like bribery? Maybe, but the results have been positive. Using this system over the last year, I have noticed D will fulfill most of  his responsibilities without asking for a punch; it's second nature. Now, that he's mastered the basics, we've moved on to bigger tasks [and bigger negotiations] such as washing dishes and vacuuming.

I've included two downloadable pdfs, Big Boy Coupons & Big Girl Coupons. My apologies if the color schemes are too gender biased, it was not my intention, I just liked the palette.  I hope some of you will get some productive use out of these!




ps - Freebie #1 is for Katie's quilt tutorial!




Small stuff…art explosion

While we like to foster creativity and expression for D and provide access to many art supplies and tools…

this is unacceptable! I try to ignore the growing mounds on his table and "gently persuade" him to clean up after he's finished, but it's no use. You see, he's never finished! As he so rationally explains to me, "I'm just taking a break, I need to leave EVERYTHING where it is so I can finish LATER."

I understand his arguement, completely. I leave projects in progress out as well, except I have a more Gerhard Richter approach…

and D is more like Calder…

which is fine, assuming you have a giant studio that is self-contained with a door. Since all of us tend to spend time in D's room, the Calderesque model won't work. Husband and I much prefer an organized environment to a chaotic one. 

I know it might seem unfair or that I'm stifling creativity, but an organized room and work area is how it's going to be. I don't confuse organized with "inaccessible". In fact, we make every effort to provide D with a sense of ownership over his own room, which includes tidying up. 

So, to keep the peace [and organization], I purchased a Bisley cabinet from the Container Store. I don't know why we took so long to get these for his room. We have several of these in our office, and I specify them frequently for our clients. Sometimes the solution is right in front of you!

It's all worked out. He's said to me, "Mom, I just love this new thing! I can find my stickers now! And I can take it with me to college!" [ College?]

Thanks for stopping in,

F&N [an imminent empty nester!]


Around Town + Small Stuff…Curl Up & Dye

Yeah, I know, it seems like most entries have been Around Town recently. This is easy to explain. Firstly, as I've mentioned in previous posts, my professional schedule has lightened up for the remainder of the year [knock on wood it only because of the holidays!], and secondly, I can't share any of my crafting as it is centered around gifts I will be giving!

One topic that I have been meaning to include as part of this blog is Small Stuff, an area that's all about kid stuff. My hope is that my son will participate with his "2 cents" on his favorite books, toys, food, adventures…anything! When he chooses not to provide his opinion, a rare moment indeed, I'll be giving mine…as always.

Off and away to topic #6…Small Stuff.

Mourning the Loss


It's not as dramatic as the title sounds, and some of you might think I'm over reacting. Others, I'm finding, can sympathize. You see, last week I took my son to have his first professional haircut. Until then, I was the one responsible for his lopsided, fluffy hair.

I was so caught up in convincing him it was time to visit a real barber, that I did not think of what the outcome would be once I got him in the seat…SHORT HAIR! DUH!! So, I'm mourning the loss of his longish rockstar hair.

Honestly, it was a great experience for my son. I'm convinced this sign is only reason he agreed to do it.


Ally, the owner, was awesome! She struck up conversation about movies and monsters and the rest was history. D. loved her and said she was "cute and really nice and I'd like to visit her again".




So, are other mothers of boys saddened by the loss of long locks? I'd be curious to hear your stories!

Curl Up & Dye is located on Treat Street between 18th & 17th Streets.


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