Friday, March 11, 2011

Obediently, Immediately, and Cheerfully

What do you do when you can't sleep and it is 1:30am?  Why, update your blog of course.

A few months back I was at a loss what to do about Amelia's attitude.   She was 6 going on 14, and I had no clue what to do.   Pretty much every day she would slam her door, or tell me she hated me, or tell me that I am the meanest mommy, or all three.   That is on top of me often hearing "humph!" or some such thing from her when I asked her to do something.  We tried time outs, taking stuff away, not doing something fun, ignoring it.... I even spanked her a few times because I just didn't know what to do, even though I have chosen not to spank my kids.  You get to a point you will try almost anything.  I was starting to think about taking her bedroom door off it's hinges so she couldn't slam it anymore.

I was talking to my friend about this, and she told me about a method she had used with her kids.

This is what we did.
We made up a list of 5 numbered chores. The top of the list is supposed to say "obediently, immediately, and cheerfully".  It is supposed to be 10 chores, but I could only think of 5 at the time.  (Preferably use the child's least favorite, but you can throw some that you don't enjoy in there too ;).)  Amelia still likes to do chores, so I just picked some.  The first isn't too hard, and they get harder as you go. Now, any time Amelia gives us any attitude, all I say is "that's one" and she knows she has stop whatever she is doing to do the corresponding chore. If she keeps giving attitude, or doesn't do the chore right away, I don't argue with her, or threaten her, I just say "that's two" and then she has 2 chores she has to do, etc.

I try to follow the obediently, and cheerfully, but am not a real stickler on the immediately.  It depends on the circumstance.  If she does something I ask, but with a big "humph!", that is not cheerfully, and gets a "one". I don't give her chores if I ask her to do something and she says "just a minute" or something, as long as she is talking normal, but maybe I should, as she usually says that. lol  I do stick to the immediately when I start counting though.

Anyway, we saw an immediate improvement. The first day she did a chore, then a couple the next... by then she was pretty much cured. 
She very rarely gets the extra chores now, and she has never gotten past 3, except a couple times when I think she didn't really have attitude, so was arguing her point that she wasn't being snotty, but I heard snotty. I ended up only making her do 2. 

By the time she is done with the chores, she has lost all attitude, and is back to my sweet, happy girl.

Before this, she was having at least one crazy attitude meltdown every day, and that is besides all the constant "humphs" ect.
I have never found anything that worked so well.   It is amazing just seeing her attitude change while she is getting stuff done.   More than once she has come to me when finished, and being back to her sweet little self, asking what more she can clean for me, ect.  I think it has been about 2 weeks since the last time she got one of the list chores.   :)

1 comment:

Diana S. said...

i love your idea! I really need to push the obediently, immediately and cheerfully more frequently.