Tuesday, January 17, 2012

No, but I can make one that says 'Smartass'.

I recently purchased Melissa & Doug's Responsibility Chart, after a painstakingly thorough search of every available option when it comes to bribing children not to whine. I was delighted to find that I can also now bribe my child to perform all kinds of helpful duties, although many of them are beyond her reach (read: interest) at this time. There are a ton of "responsibilities" on there, my favourite of course being "Stop Whining". Some of the others that are currently being monitored are "Share" (an easy one to keep her motivated), "Clear the Table" and "Put Clothes in the Wash" (which we consider accomplished if she takes her plate to the sink and puts her dirty clothes in the hamper) and "Help with Outdoor Chores" (playing in the snow/leaves while mom and dad shovel/rake qualifies). It's going pretty well. In short, she's still whiny, but she's also a lot more helpful. It'll do for now.

Today she's sick and I've kept her home from school. On a very few occasions - like Christmas and Illness - I allow her to stay in her jammies all day. It drives me crazy, but I understand the proclivity. This morning she looked at me with that sly little smile and asked "Is it okay if I wear my pyjamas ALL DAY today???" Why not, I thought. They're going in the wash tonight anyway, might as well keep the germs festering all in one place.

Just before dinner she sauntered over to the chart and asked her usual question. "Mama, do I get any magnets today?" The magnets are little happy faces saying things like "Awesome!" and "Excellent!", to be placed beside each chore accomplished for each day. Today she had earned the Share, Take Care of Pet, Put Toys Away and Clear the Table. "Can I have this one too?" she asked, grabbing the "Get Dressed" label from the stack of responsibilities not currently being used.

"Well, considering that you didn't get dressed today, I would have to say no." I replied.

She turned back to the chart. At the bottom, there are two blank labels, where you can make up your own responsibility. She grabbed one of them and thrust it into my hand, saying "Can you please write 'Stay in Pyjamas All Day' on this one?"

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