Circles of Good Behavior
March 1999

“Circles of Good Behavior,” Ensign, Mar. 1999, 62

Circles of Good Behavior

We have found a way to help keep contention to a minimum within our home while encouraging family unity:

  1. Draw 10 circles in a row on a piece of paper.

  2. Leave the first five circles blank—these become “free” circles.

  3. In the last five circles, write down an activity or treat that the whole family enjoys, such as games, TV time, or desserts.

  4. Post the paper in a central place, such as the refrigerator or a bulletin board.

  5. Explain to the family that when there is fighting or arguing in the home, Mom or Dad will cross off one of the circles. The first five circles are “free” and help the children learn that everyone shares responsibility for a peaceful home. After that, each time a circle is crossed off, the entire family misses out on that item or activity listed inside the circle for the rest of the week.

  6. Start with a fresh sheet of circles each week.

  7. If all the circles get crossed off, cheerfully say, “Next week we’ll do better.” Remind them that when the whole family cooperates, everyone is happier.

  8. Gradually decrease the number of free circles.—Marianne Wilson McKnight, Penn Valley, California