I know that too many rewards or too much bribery used to get our children to do things is not a good thing. However, I have to say that, once in a while, a well placed reward or goal for a job well done gets things done faster and without as much stress in this house. Hannah’s room as been atrocious for a couple of months. The last time it was seriously cleaned, I did it for her, with her help. BUT, as we were doing it that time, we reduced her amount of stuff by more than half and determined a home for everything else. There was no reason for it to get to the state it was in and I just didn’t have time or inclination to do it for her again.
So, for the past couple of weeks, we have been making her spend most of Saturday (and a lot of Sunday) in her room – theoretically cleaning it. Well, she is a typical child who – even though we broke it down into steps for her and encouraged her – procrastinated and played more than she worked. Both children have been begging to go to the Chinese Buffet to eat (not my favorite – I prefer sit down Chinese restauratns). So, this morning, Hannah was trying to weasel a deal with her dad to go eat there. They finally agreed that if her room passed inspection (mine) by 3:00 p.m. we would go there for dinner tonight. I, knowing this probably wasn’t going to happen, encouraged Sarah that if she also wanted to go to the Buffet, perhaps she should help her sister. Well, I’m going to eat lukewarm, not very tasty Chinese tonight, but the room is clean, the stench is mostly gone and the girls worked together without a screaming match. So, I guess in the long run, we are all winners.
As a rule, our children do not get rewards, allowances etc for doing what is expected of them as part of this family. Chores are necessary things that need to be done by all of us to keep our household safe, clean and functioning. However, every once in a while, this kind of motivation gets the job done.