We've been having some major issues lately with Jackson not wanting to listen. He hears what we say, he's just choosing to do whatever the heck he wants to do anyways. It doesn't matter what the request; he has an excuse for not doing it. If it's time for bed, he's too tired to walk to his room. If he needs to brush his teeth, he "can't" get the toothpaste out by himself. If his shoes need tying, he doesn't feel like doing it. You name it, this kid has turned into the king of excuses and the master of procrastination.
The "Mom of the Year" in me tries to ask nicely. And then I ask again. And again. And then the bear in me comes out and I start yelling when he still hasn't done it. I hate it, but I get so tired of repeating myself. I publicly apologize to my parents for doing the same thing as a kid. I had no idea how frustrating I was to you. I've entered into parental purgatory.
This weekend I stumbled into the best tool ever: Bribery.
We've instituted The Penny Project in our house. I made up the project this weekend, and I'm thinking of applying for a copyright, but basically, it comes down to sheer bribery.
Here's what we are doing: I got a big empty Mason jar and put it on the kitchen counter. For every task that Jackson needs to accomplish he is given a penny when he does the chore the first time he is asked. Every time we have to repeat our request he will lose a penny. When he reaches 100 pennies in the jar he will get $5 to spend however he likes. Yes, I realize the math doesn't add up to $5, but my plan is to wean him back to lesser rewards after we've reestablished a routine of obedience.
Jackson will earn pennies for getting dressed without fussing, brushing his teeth and hair, putting his shoes and jacket on, and helping with other chores around the house. I don't like to bribe, but thus far, this has worked like a charm. Jackson has 10 pennies in the jar, and none have been taken out yet. I'm done repeating myself and fussing; if Jackson can't do what he's asked to do the first time around, I just take a penny out. I figure it won't take long before he figures out the mathematics of this.
Fingers crossed that it keeps working, otherwise the Mama bear in me is going to have to figure something else out quickly, before I resort to telling Santa how the kid is acting!
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