Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Two new employees

We're trying a new behavior strategy here that may prove excessively costly, but may be worth it in terms of enrichment opportunities and reduction of stress from nagging.

Both my kids have certain chores they're expected to do, and they get some iTunes dough every month for that. There are other things, though, that I badly want them to do but are, admittedly, hard for them. Like trombone practice. Reading with parents daily. Doing exercises in a standardized-test practice book. Writing a blog regularly. Don't want to make these chores, because I would be constantly constantly constantly nagging. (Been there. Done that. Got the pounding headache.)

So I'm trying a new incentive program. Both of them have things they want money for. Both of them had summer jobs. Now they have fall, winter, and spring jobs: Doing the extra, hard things I want them to do. Up to them how much they do, but they get paid by the hour. They each have a time book for jotting how much time they spend on my little projects, and payday is Sunday.

My daughter has taken to it very quickly, and is now, unbelievably, practicing trombone and doing reading exercises without prompting. I wouldn't mind if she didn't do them first thing in the morning, before I'm awake, and come waking me up to sign off on her timebook, but still -- she's doing things I would have had to hector long and hard to get her to do before. My son's a little slower to catch on, but he's starting to ask for things to do now, too. We've actually read together the last few nights, something he's been very reluctant to do of late.

Not sure whether they'll keep up this level of interest, but for now, they're motivated.

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