Disclosure: I received a promotional copy of this book to facilitate my review. All thoughts and opinions expressed below, however, are 100% my own.
Most of the time, I totally love my kids – I really do. Other times however, I am ready to just throttle them when they don’t want to listen, when they don’t do their chores, when they don’t clean their rooms. Most of the time, after endless pleading, yelling, begging, and compromising I am the one who ends up doing everything. It is just easier to do the chores and put the laundry away in their rooms and take out the trash myself than it is to nag them, right?
PLAY The Discipline Solution: A Win-Win System That’s Educational, Fun & Easy for Parents & Kids is the answer to a mom and dad’s prayer because while doing it yourself might be easier it does NOT teach your children a thing about the real world. You wouldn’t send them off to camp with just a sleeping bag and a change of clothing for a week and expect them to be fine would you? Of course not! So why should you send them out into the world without preparing them for what “real life” is all about?
Let’s face it, the school can only teach your children so much about what they will need to know in the real world. It is up to us, as parents, to teach them money management, life skills, self-discipline, earning, moderation, work ethic, etiquette, cooperation, independence and accountability. This system does all of that and more.
I love Angela Reuss, the author of this bit of brilliance. She is a single mom who has dealt with everything that you are going through with your own brood. The phrase, “Been there done that” applies to her. A Broke Mom, a Crazy Summer, and How It All Began chapter tells you exactly what Angela went through during a particularly rough summer vacation with her children and how the PLAY system was born. She keeps it real, she doesn’t sugar coat a thing. I knew as soon as I had read a few pages that this was the answer to the insanity in our household.
How It Works
The PLAY system consists of three important parts – a job, financial and legal systems. It is a system similar to what we adults operate within each and every day.
Your primary job as a parent is to prepare your child for how the world really works. In the real world, you don’t always get what you want. — Dr. Phil
When a child is not held accountable for his or her behavior, it prevents psychological growth and creates a spoiled adult. Nobody likes a spoiled child, but a spoiled adult is worse. The PLAY system comes with dollars and lists for pay, fines, prices, and rules.
- The parent pays the child with “Mom Dollars” (or whatever you want to call them) for doing things like chores, getting good grades, awards, etc.
- The child will then be able to use their “Mom Dollars” to buy things at home like sweets, special privileges, a trip to the park, the use of video games, spending the night at a friend’s house, etc.
- If the child misbehaves or doesn’t follow the parent’s rules, he/she is fined and a certain amount of “Dollars” are taken away.
- If a child does not have enough “Dollars” to pay his/her fine, they go to their room for 1 hour for every X amount of “Dollars” owed.
One of the main selling points for me was the fact that the PLAY system is completely customizable for your family. Angela provides you with all of the tools that you need with the prepared charts, and she also gives you blank charts that you can tailor to fit your budget, lifestyle, and circumstances. So that means THIS SYSTEM WILL WORK FOR EVERY FAMILY TYPE.
Tried and Tested
Angela has not only tested this system out with her own family, but has taken three years to share it with others and obtain their feedback to test the kit and make adjustments. What you will have before you is a PLAY system that will work for your family and any child age 5 and up.
My husband and I have “entitled” our children. My husband more so than myself, because of his own childhood, but I’ve allowed it to happen. Whatever they have asked for they have been given. Perhaps not right away, but they get what they want – eventually – and are not required to earn what they ask for. We have failed them in teaching them a strong work ethic, in teaching them that in order to obtain the things that you want, you need to work for them, set a goal and work towards it. Just the other day, we received a phone call from one of the neighborhood stores informing us that our son had stolen something. The one thing we do not tolerate from the boys is lying or stealing. My husband marched my son to the store and made him fess up to what he had done and return the merchandise – a $20 pair of headphones. He knew that we would ask him where he got them from, he knew that we would be told of what he did by the store manager (because we go to the store daily). Yet … he wanted the headphones, he wanted them now, and he thought he could just take what he wanted.
We are implementing the system in our home this week. I originally planned to start using the system as of October 1, but as it happens, real life gets in the way at times and things don’t go according to plan. I’ve been working on the blank charts and customizing them to our two boys (ages 12 and 15) and we’ve had several discussions about the system and how it will all work. I think the boys are excited about the opportunity to actually “work” and “get paid” on a regular basis to enable them to earn the things that they want. Their “Mom Dollars” can be turned in for cold hard cash that they can spend on whatever they want – it will be up to them how much they want to earn and how they want to spend it. Giving your children the power to begin making decisions for themselves (and dealing with the consequences of those decisions) is a vital step in teaching them about life in the “real world.” Angela Reuss has provided parents with the means to do this.
The next step is up to us – as parents – to put the PLAY system into use in our own homes. To give our children the structure and rules that they crave in order to raise healthy, productive members of society that will exceed our expectations if we give them the tools at an early age that they will need to become successful as adults.
I will be keeping you posted via social media on our progress with the PLAY system as well as updates in the comment section – so be sure to keep this post bookmarked if you are interested in how this works with our children!