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Yes, I’m making another chart

Submitted by on Wednesday, 2 December 2009 No Comment

So what was that I was saying yesterday about being in a transition stage, where techniques that used to work no longer do the trick?

This morning – when Big Guy poked, goofed off, ignored me and did everything but get ready for school – was a classic example. He wound up missing the bus, though if the demonic driver hadn’t pulled up seven minutes early he would have been standing at the stop instead of on the patio when she pulled up. I’m not giving him that excuse, though, because he knows she’s like that.

I am tired of nagging. I am sick of hearing my own voice parroting the same things over and over. So today I did what I always do when I’m butting heads with an intractable problem: I made a chart to do my nagging for me.

It’s a simple little thing, with a column for each day and a row for each of the 10 simple tasks that stand between getting out of bed and getting out the door. It shocked me a bit that the list was that long, but I separated some items – getting dressed and putting on shoes, for example – because each has been a stumbling block.

The guys will check off each task as they do it, and as long as they complete them all before the cranky bus driver rumbles up the road and leaves Big Guy with his nose pressed where the door used to be, they’ll get stickers. And stickers translate to allowance here.

In one way, it chafes me to have to create a chart outlining something that’s not all that hard to do for even a 6-year-old. Get up, get breakfast, get dressed, get your gear and go. He can do it when he wants to. Some days, though, it’s more fun to make it a battle of wills.

If a list removes me from the battle field, then I’m all for it.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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