Something happens when a child learns to speak: their ears shut down. Unless, of course, you’re offering them candy or a chance to see a movie or something of desire. But remind them of a responsibility and forget it, they don’t hear a thing. Well, that was the case with my 7 and 5 year old. But not anymore. Now they are quick to obey, and even try to do their responsibilities without being asked. No, I didn’t hire Supernanny. I noticed how motivated these two young girls are with money. They’ll do a whole load of laundry — washing and hanging to dry and taking down and putting away for $2! So I decided to use dimes as a motivation for obeying.
Each Monday morning I put a stack of 10 dimes per child in an area accessible to me. I explain to them that this is the money they will receive at the end of the week, as long as they are obedient. Each time they need to be asked more than once to do something, a dime is taken away. Each time they do something they are supposed to without even being asked to do it, a dime is added.
Of course, kids will be kids, so it’s not totally disobedience-proof, but what a difference it has made in our house! So much less nagging and lallygagging. I’d pay a dollar for that any time.