Monday, February 18, 2008

The free ride is over

No one told me that living with a 7 1/2 year old is a sneak-peak into the hell that is raising a teenager. With the exception of car key requests, staying out past curfew and daily hour-long showers B has every other tell-tale sign of pubescent angst. He talks to Daddy-O and I as if we are not only the enemy, but a not-too-bright one at that.

I knew that eventually B would think I didn't know anything... I guess I just figured he'd be older than 7, and maybe know his times tables before it happened. And how in the world did my boy (and most every other kid under the age of 25) end up with such an air of entitlement? Like everything is owed to him from dessert to Pokemon cards to as many Scholastic books as he wants every few weeks when the order form comes home. I hate to sound so old over here... but when I was a kid I was lucky to get ONE book once or twice a year from the book orders. It was a big deal! I got most of my books from the library.

Well, the free ride ended this weekend! We started a new Token Program for him where he gets to earn tokens for doing the things he should be doing just because he's a human being and lives in our house. Things like eating breakfast, clearing his place at the table, rinsing his dishes, getting dressed, brushing his teeth & combing his hair... the catch is he has to do it all without being asked by us. It relieves us of the burden of being the bad guys all the time. I hate to nag.

So far, this part is working wonderfully!!!!! B fairly runs to the chart at each time frame looking for a way to earn tokens. In fact, he gets bent if I've done something that he should have gotten a token for. Success is sweet! The second part is the Reward System. He can save his tokens and trade them in for common items.

Here is our Reward Chart:
Have dessert
Play game with Mom / Dad
One candy bar
Mom / Dad reads story
Chocolate Milk with Dinner

One hour on computer
One hour of video games
Go to Skate Park
Go to Nat. History Museum

Rent Movie / game
Bike ride with Dad
Choose own dinner
Ride Bike to school

Stay up past bedtime
Bake something
Small pack Pokemon cards
Special after school snack

Roast Marshmallows
Exempt from one chore
Have play date
Go to Nat. History Museum

Have friend sleep over
Go to movie
Go to beach
Go to Shell Shop

Talking Back -2
Sneaking Sweets -1

Being Told More Than Once -1
Lying -5

Complaining about food -1
Not eating all of dinner -2

Interrupting -1
Saying Bad Words -2

I have such high hopes for this system. I don't want to parent a teenager before I have to. I am too young to lose all my "cool" already!!!


Stimey said...

I may just have to steal this system. It sounds like a good one!

Anne said...

ha ha. Good system. Let us know how it works.

He'll grow out of the attitude. Mine have and and it only took 20 years. ;-)

Michele said...

I love your blog and think this is genius =) Good luck. If it works I may have to 'borrow' it. I have a 3 year old and completely agree, you're too young to loose your 'cool'. Please keep us updated.

sarah said...

That. is. awesome. Sounds like someone is next in line to become "supernanny". She would totally approve.

If the tokens ever fail, my cousin has a 9 year old boy with serious behavioral problems. She refused for years to get him a video game system, only to discover that it was the best bargaining tool EVER. He'll do ANYTHING to get to play his games.