Le Magasin Général des Bessette-Loiselle

The General Store of the Bessette-Loiselle

I am sure that I am not the only mother who sometimes (read here often) the impression of being a slave to her children. I try to empower them, tell them to make their bed, get dressed, put their dirty clothes in the basket, put away shoes and cap when they enter the house... nothing to do! Looks like I'm talking in butter! I have to repeat a dozen times and sometimes even threaten them with a loss of privilege (OMG did I really just tell you that?!) so that they decide to do the task requested.... backwards, of course.

My children are almost 5 years old, 7 years old and 9 years old. It seems to me that it is more than time for them to participate in the tasks of the house. The whole family would be better off and I am sure it would be a great service to them for later. But how do you do that? That's where the Belles Combines general store came to the rescue. Honestly, it totally changed my children's attitude. It is that in the morning, they get up in a sneaky way, make their bed and get dressed... with a smile, filled with pride!

The general store it is a box where surprises and privileges are put. The child accumulates small blocks of wood (included in the kit), as he or she behaves well and participates in tasks. At the end of the week, we count the blocks with a perfect counting sheet for toddlers (allo here learning math at the same time!). The child can choose something from the box, depending on the number accumulated, or wait until the next week to have more blocks and choose something more "interesting". I love the concept! It also quietly teaches them to wait and understand the value of objects.

We also used the privilege coupons of the Belles Combines. They're just awesome! Lots of good ideas! For example, my daughter asks her dear dad to go to the park every day (we work from home)... Worse we'll tell ourselves the real business: it doesn't often tempt her to go watch her play in the big sun, not a patch of shadow, at 30 degrees, or worse to swing it for 30 minutes non stop. So that's where the "visit to the park" privilege coupon comes in!

My daughter can then choose him and have her moment of happiness at the park with Dad, when she wants to, and Dad has nothing to say. ;) The children's favourite privilege coupons are: eat lunch for dinner and go to bed 30 minutes later than their brother and sister (Oh la la that one is prized... and of course the first time one of my children chose this, we had to manage the other 2 and it was not easy).

However, they quickly understand that they will be able to choose this privilege when they have enough cubes. And by the same tot., they are taught to make choices. You choose this privilege or you take a small bag of candy, which will be gone in the space of 5 nano seconds.... Here my children have been garoing on the sweets... then the buzz of the novelty past, they begin to take a liking to coupons ... like having home work leave for a day! Haha!

Really, it's working!!!!!!

It's made that my children quarrel over who will help me do the dusting...! ;) What you need to know is that in this box, I put stuff like the famous fruit rolls filled with ingredients impossible to pronounce, or the little bags of Oreo cookies that my children constantly ask me for at the grocery store, but which I always refuse to buy! It's win-win, they stopped asking me that 1000 times a week (thank God) and they have the opportunity to have them in the general store by "buying" them with their cubes. Well ok, I will not hide that once I found 2 bags of cookies open........ and empty! Laughing out loud. It's not done on your own either, and depending on how docile your children are, you may have to repeat the rules a few times...

We can also use this tool to work on something specific, a more difficult behavior for your child... not just for family chores. Here, for example, my youngest is very angry. When a situation annoys her, and she calms down quickly and without crisis, we reward her with a block (2 or 3 at the beginning) with congratulations as big as the arm! My oldest takes him 15 minutes showers and I spend my time telling him to hurry, to go out ... that there are 5 of us who have to wash.... It annoys him, it puts me in a bad mood and the tension goes up. So when I see that he made an effort and took a quick shower: hop a block! It makes him hurry up a little more let's say ;)

Besides, they like it! Big hit here the General Store! With the start of the school year, I have the firm intention to focus on the home-back routine. Place your shoes, hang your jacket/coat, put away your school bag and unpack the lunch box! Yes yes, even rinse the small pots and put the ice pack to the freezer! They are so capable of doing more than we think! And the General Store is simply a great tool to help us in this!

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