As of late, we've been talking with the kids a lot about our personal household goals. We had a great family home evening lesson a few weeks back, about how to make our home more happy. My goal was to always have a soft voice, and to smile more. Each of the kids picked goals they wanted to work on. Kamy chose to do things before I ask. Keaton chose to answer me the first time I called him, and to be more quick about doing required things. Kolby chose to have no fits, and to have a happy attitude regarding his chores. Kennedy chose to not whine anymore, and Kimble needs to work on not throwing things down the stairs. :)
We set up rewards and also discipline. The kids came up with it all, made charts, and were really excited about it. In fact, for days and days after, while enjoying the transformation our household had, the kids kept coming to me and commenting on how happy they were that we all made goals, and were working on them. It really has been amazing.
Another goal we had, as a family, was to earn rewards. The kids all love playing on the computer, but unless their chores and homework are done, the answer has been no. However, there was an opportunity that I saw, and put it to use. For the kids to play on the computer, or do activities that I deem are "extra", they need to earn it. Sometimes it's an extra chore (like organizing the pencils/crayons/markers/scissors/coloring book mess that seems to get bigger with every homework hour. Sometimes it's reading longer than the required 20 minutes (for Kolby, this has been great.). Sometimes it's helping me make dinner. Whatever it is, if they do it, they get to pick their reward, and it's usually playing a game on the computer (although it has to be educational).
Last weekend, Keaton came to me with a plan. He told me he'd keep his room sparkling clean, everyday, if he could get out his nice train electric track (which we got as a gift during our military days, and normally stays put away because it's more like a collectible than an everyday toy). So he cleaned his room, then got to set up the train. The boys were so excited to play with the train, and I was so excited that they were understanding the whole "you reap what you sow" mentality.
Good behavior and good attitudes get you far, in our family.