Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cheap Labor

When I need Bub to help clean up his toys or the couch cushions or the contents of the junk drawer or a quantity of something edible opened without permission, I ask him with varying degrees of niceness and volume.

Bub is often overwhelmed by such requests, protesting, "But that's going to take forever."
"If it's going to take that long, you better start now."
"Aren't you going to help me, mommy?"
And on and on. If you have kids, you know the drill.
Imagine my surprise when I came down from settling Sweet P for an afternoon nap to find Bub cleaning up the toys in the back room with a palpable sense of hustle and, dare I say, excitement. He clued me in right away: "Mommy, daddy says he will give me three pieces of money if I clean up the toys."
"Wow, three pieces! You better keep going and finish up."
And he did. And he was so, so proud.
Hubby gave him three pieces of money that totaled 12 cents.
Bub beamed with pride.
Hubby then threw in a quarter tip for a job well done.
Bub's grin got broader, "Now I've got four pieces of money!"
The larger issue, of course, is that we are meant to be teaching Bub that cleaning up is part of his job as a citizen of this family and that he should do it to be helpful and kind and responsible. Not for candy. Not for money. Yes, I know that.
I also know that 37 cents or less can buy some pretty good cleaning and, right now, I'm going to focus on short-term gains.


Steph said...

Those little bribes still work wonders for me! It's amazing what I'll do for the promise of chocolate.

Amy said...

I have started the bribes all the time. I figure I can pay my housekeeper $too much and have her spend her time cleaning the playroom and not doing a good job on the rest of the house or I can offer Annika $2 for cleaning it and her bedroom. This is a weekly amount I'll add. But in her eyes that amount buys 2 items in the dollar section at Target and Life is good.

CaraBee said...

As much as I want to instill a sense of responsibility for her property and surroundings, I will have absolutely no problem paying Sophie 37 cents to tidy up. I'll think of it as teaching her the value of earned money.

E... said...

I've been getting by lately with marbles, to go in the jar that once filled, they will get to go see a movie. (the marbles are really just supposed to be about dinnertime behavior) I don't give a marble every time, just surprise reward. Have no idea if this is teaching them anything besides the fact that rewards are random, but it makes me feel like I'm not bribing??

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