When I was a kid I LOVED playing MASH! I was the weird one that said I wanted 12 kids and my top car choice was a minivan…not sure how I thought the minivan would fit my 12 kids, but I was always a happy camper when “luck” was on my side and the future chosen for me was to be a stay-at-home mom, with 12 kids, driving a mini van!:-)
These four cuties have made all my dreams come true…the only slight change to the plan is I have 4 instead of 12! I think Heavenly Father packed them with extra will and spirit to make up for the difference between 4 and 12!!!
As a kid it was all about dreaming and I only thought about the squishy happy baby that smelled delicious enough to eat. The reality is that being a mom is HARD!
One of the “hards” in our house is sharing. With 4 girls, they all have and want what the other has. There is no natural line of dinosaurs and dolls or boats and barbies, they all want it all, ALL the time!
In desperation, and in a vulnerable state, I found myself at Kohl’s looking at books. To no surprise, “IT’S MINE!”, was the one that caught my eye. So I quickly thumbed through it, and it didn’t take me long to realize this was headed to the check out line with me. They even had a stuffed frog to go with it, so I grabbed both in hopes that doubling my efforts would bring doubled, or tripled, or quadrupled results!
On the way home, I devised a plan. I would hold onto it until family night, and make it a big and really fun reveal!
This is how our plan unfolded:
1. We read “It’s Mine”, an adorable book about 3 greedy frogs who never share and are miserable playing by themselves. Then they go through an experience together that makes them realize that when you share you are happier and have more fun spending time with others.
2. We talked about what they learned and liked in the book and the meaning and message behind it all.
3. I showed them the cute stuffed green frog that I bought with the book. They loved the frog – and yes they all started talking about whose it was and who got it when.
4. We developed a family sharing plan to motivate a more giving and sharing attitude and spirit in our home.
5. Finally, we set a goal and decided on a reward for when we reached it. We do all we can to not have the girls compete with each other on these type of things, so we were all a team trying to reach our goal of 100 shares. That way we’d be helping and rooting each other on, instead of comparing and competing.
OUR FAMILY’S SHARING PLAN:
1. Make a lily pad for each person in the family (including mom and dad)
2. Put the lily pads, the frog (Hoppy), a pen, and the book on our microwave where we’d see them multiple times a day and be reminded of our family goal to share more freely.
3. Every time someone shares, the person they shared with yells out, “Brooke gets the frog”!!! The frog then jumps to their lily pad and they get to draw a star on their lily pad. I have loved this because it shows individual growth (or stunted growth) and inspires the girls individually, but we are still working as a team. We found that the kids that have a harder time sharing, had emptier lily pads. It showed them on paper that they really needed to put forth more effort to share, even when it was hard. We also made sure that the one sharing was the one calling out how great they were. That would get old fast! We made it a point to note that sometimes you may not get called out or noticed for sharing, and that’s real life, but you’ll get to enjoy the good feeling and satisfaction of it.
4. Once we reach 100 shares as a family, we will go to Rumbi Grill (which is a little island restaurant, and the kids liked the connection of that to the book.)
5. When there is fighting over something that is not being shared, everyone involved sits down and reads the book together! This has been great! It breaks the contention in the home and they end up laughing as they read the book together. It’s also great to have the book give the lesson over and over again, instead of me!
My 5 favorites successes that have come from this sharing project:
1. It has helped us get out of the “It’s mine” rut we were in.
2. Sharing has become way more of a focus for our girls.
3. It has allowed the girls to look individually at themselves and see how they feel they are personally contributing to our family’s goal to be more giving and kind.
4. It has allowed the girls a chance to support and encourage each other when they do share.
5. It has changed something that was making me completely crazy into something fun that we often find ourselves laughing at.