Sunday, May 3, 2009

When "responsible" isn't enough

Since Anaya is five years old, I have tried to institute responsibilities for her to do every day. These are limited, and so far consist of making her own bed, putting away her pajamas, keeping her laundry in the laundry hamper, getting dressed, and taking the compost to the compost pile. Not too complicated. Putting away pajamas is a difficult one for her, though, as evidenced by repeated violations. Finally I began confiscating favorite pajamas for a week whenever they were left on the floor after one reminder.

Well, maybe that's not enough. Anaya's favorite bedwear is her pink flannel nightgown. After two week-long confiscations, I thought that things were becoming clear to her, thanks to my faithful consequence-ing. Then a few days ago, I spotted her nightie on the floor again. "Anaya, that needs to be put away," I reminded her. "I don't want to have to take it again."

"No, Mommy," she responded with an aggrieved, sacrificial air. "I think you need to take it. I didn't put it away on time."

"Just put it away now, and you won't have to lose it for a week," I encouraged.

"The consequence will help me to learn."

I was a little suspicious of this dramatic surrender. "Okay," I responded. "But you still need to fold it and put it away. Just put it on the top shelf."

"But Mommy," her voice took on a wailing edge, "I don't want to have to fold it! That's work!"

1 comment:

MoziEsmé said...

I think you might have just stumbled on an appropriate consequence for her - WORK! It's so funny how different things work for different kids...