Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Adventures in Character Building

RESPONSIBIL'ITY, n. [from responsible.]
1. The state of being accountable or answerable, as for a trust or office, or for a debt.

The Build Up:
On the way home from Summersville, MO Sunday night Sam and I (mostly me) discuss the children. It seems they are very compliant when it comes to doing chores they are asked to do, but have no motivation to do anything until ask. This has been frustrating for me. When I am trying to get the day started they have to be reminded to make their beds, get dressed, do their chores. Two or three times a day I look around and see a sink full of dishes, a dirty house and someone goes over to the trash to throw something away and proceeds to stuffing it into an already overflowing bin. At which time I begin issuing orders. "You! (which ever unlucky kid is closest), do the dishes, You! (choose another child at random), dry and put away, You!, floor, You! pick up and when your done report to me, I have more!" After some discussion and a few periods of silence, we come upon the idea that this is a responsibility issue (big light bulb moment). After a bit I began to develop the responsibility experiment.

The Experiment:
We decide that bed time will be promptly at 7:00 pm each night. No books, no books on tape, lights out, you go to bed. If you would like to stay up until 9:00 pm, you must show you are responsible without being ask. Time is given for chores and other various acts of responsibility, such as; playing with your little brother.

Day #1, Responsibility Experiment: Monday:
Thought I would play not so nice and inform them of the rules as I put them to bed promptly at 7:00pm and make a big impression. Wisdom (in the form of Sam gentle suggestion) somehow won and I pulled the children aside and explained the new "system". They seemed agreeable, and with the potential to stay up until 9:00 pm we all started our day. Since I was not giving any verbal reminders, I washed all the dishes that day, cleaned the house, fed the dog and took care of lil' britches. I think they all earned 15 minutes and went to bed at 7:15 pm with the exception of Hannah. Hannah is my responsible one and she had earned all her time and was able to stay up until 9:00 pm. Samuel actually cried, he asked for a spanking in order to fore go the early bed time. I declined and sent him and his sibling promptly to bed, feeling very sorry for themselves. So far I have sulcky kids and one exausted mom. As Sam and I went to bed, I ask him, "Do you think we will have responsible kids tomorrow?". To which he replied, "NO!".

Will we have responsible kids on Tuesday? Tune in next time to find out!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness--a spanking over responsibility to get a later bedtime? Wow! I bet you're onto something here......


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