Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Seeing Need Points at Work (There IS great hope for the future!)

We just got back from our Spring Break trip to Utah, and our house is bustling with unpacking, laundry, catch-up, and clean-up.  I'll write more about the trip later, when we're not so grumpy from not getting enough sleep over the past couple of days (or maybe I'm the only grumpy one--can't quite tell).

During our drive back (while I was in the back seat relaxing with my older children and holding a grocery sack in my hands in case Spencer got car sick again) I received a darling email from a new friend I've met through The Power of Moms. 

Her son Allen gave a speech for a leadership assembly at his school, where they're participating in Steven Covey's "Leader in Me" program.  The kids have been reading Sean Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, which is a kid-friendly storybook about Stephen Covey's seven habits, and Allen chose to talk about our Seeing Need Points and how they fit in with Stephen Covey's "Win-Win" principle.

Here's a cute photo of Allen and his mom Kristine:

And, with Allen's permission, here's his fabulous speech:

Hello, I am Allen Jones, and I would like to take the time to talk about habit #4,Think win- win. A win-win situation is when two people or two groups of people benefit from what you do.  I would like to share an idea that puts me in this situation.
My mom and dad want my siblings and I to notice when someone needs help. One of my mom’s friend’s thought of an idea called “Seeing need” and we thought it was a good idea so we use it too.  When we see a need anywhere that should be done we do it without being asked. Then we go to one of my parents and ask how many points it is worth. For example, I could do the dishes when it’s not my night and get 5 points.  We keep track of points on a piece of paper on our refrigerator. I could also stack chairs and organize books at school or church. Putting away groceries or doing a chore without being asked are other ideas.  If the job I do is one of my assigned chores, it doesn’t count for points.  The most important part of seeing a need is that we are not asked to do it and that we are looking for ways to help others by ourselves.
One of the things we can earn is an extra date night with Mom or Dad, a cooking lesson, a banana split or cupcake decorating party with some friends, and prizes from a prize box that we have at home.  I’m really excited about a cooking lesson because I want to learn how to make bread, rice, muffins, and apple pie. Another reward is to be king or queen for a day, which means you can pick all the meals that day and you don’t have to do chores or practice piano. (Put on crown) In fact, I earned enough points yesterday that I chose to be the king of my family today.(Take off crown)
These rewards help to make seeing need fun and exciting but the real reward is the happiness that I feel when I help other people.  That is why this is a “win-win” situation.  Other people get help and I feel great inside.
This activity has helped me to always be on the look-out for people who need help.  There are a lot of needs in the world and as I get older, I hope I will be able to see them and do something about it.  I invite you to take this challenge as well.  Thank you for your time and have a good day.           

Does that not give you hope for the future?  I think Allen did a great job, and I was excited to share it.  I also love his crown, which Kristine said she purchased HERE.

Seeing Need Points continue to work beautifully in our home.  In spite of the squabbling, messes, whining, and all those other aspects of family life that aren't so fun, these points inspire my children to work hard without being asked.  This morning Grace trimmed the flowers and swept the porch, Alia bathed and dressed Spencer and then gathered and sorted the laundry, and Ethan cleaned up the kitchen, got Spencer a snack, and picked up all the toys Spencer had dropped on the floor.  I still can't get over how well this little system works. 

All right, now it's time for ME to go "see need" because my children are getting a little antsy.  As The Power of Moms is preparing to publish our new book and put on our Retreats this month and next, I have more work to juggle than ever before (but it's fun work).  My quiet times have to be dedicated to these bigger projects, so I try to write blog posts during the quiet minutes when my children are playing in the backyard and I'm working in the kitchen--except sometimes it doesn't work out.

Since I started this post, we've had a ball go over the fence, rust water from a metal step stool drip all over Alia's white shirt, a kaleidoscope break all over the backyard--spreading little beads everywhere, two boys fighting over who gets to pick UP the little beads, Spencer yelling because he can't reach the markers that the other children are coloring with, and lots more little issues that I can't even begin to list. 

Life is good, but I think it's nap time. 


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