Reducing stress during this time of uncertainty – Step 2


How can a family reduce stress during this time of uncertainty? What can help keep or bring happiness to your family during the COVID-19 crisis or anytime?

In the first post in this series, I shared how a checklist can make help to make life easier. To make a list work with your children, incentives are a great motivator. Incentives must be more than simply not getting yelled at. We also know that despite ongoing poor performance, we can’t vote a family member “off the island.” A family needs a system of individual performance recognition.


  • Daily points are awarded by the whole group based on the day’s performance.
    1. A majority vote by the group saying the person performed well earns a point.
  • Celebrate the point by marking it on a special card for each individual. Hang in a place of prominence!
    1. If promised work is not completed, no points!
    2. When 30 points are earned, it’s worth a new book $10 or less. (Chance for 1 book per month)
    3. Kids can save their cards and use together if a book is more than $10.
  • This is a great way to encourage reading and teach them reverence for book ownership.
  • This method is also a way for parents to earn points and show that all have responsibilities in a family.
  • The majority vote to earn a point means that each person is held accountable to the whole group.

Cotchas-short for “Caught You Doing Something Good,” reinforce desired behaviors immediately when they happen.

  1. When a positive behavior is noticed, a card is handed out with great fanfare. If a negative behavior is committed, a Cotcha may be taken away.
  2. Cotchas are held in an envelope until a child earns 20. They can then redeem them for a family activity.
    1. This is an activity of the child’s choosing.
    2. The whole family participates.
      1. Things like: trip to roller rink, picnic, fishing, games.
  • Not only parents can give or take away Cotchas. Kids can award or penalize each other as well with a vote of 2 or more of the group.

This promotes self-organizing behavior & allows the children to police themselves in many conflicts.

  • Sturgeon Bay Blessing Boxes – there are little blessing boxes around Sturgeon Bay that have non-perishable food items and personal care items available for free. Just walk up and take what you need. Here is a map of blessing box locations. Sturgeon Bay Blessing Boxes
  • Affordable Preventative Vet Pop Up Clinic – For dogs and cats — Microchipping, vaccinations, testing & deworming, heartworm prevention, flea & tick medications are available at Tractor Supply in Sturgeon Bay through PetVet at very reasonable pricing. see full details on the PetVet website.

Join the partnership

The Partnership is open to any Door County Community member. You are especially encouraged to attend our quarterly Partnership meetings to hear what the Partnership has been working on.