Monday, August 27, 2012

Revoking Rewards & Why I Don't Get Mom-fo-the-Year Award

So I won't get the Mom-of-the-Year Award today.
That's OK.
If you asked my daughter her opinion, I was out if the running today.

Remember my post about how we were using Bath and Body Works mini-hand sanitizers as an incentive for good behavior a couple of weeks ago?
Well, it was working really, really well for a while.
A little bit too well.
Maybe I jinxed it by bragging about how well it was working?
Maybe the novelty wore off?

Regardless of what happened, something went awry.  Askew.  Asunder.

The behavior has changed and she thinks that she is Queen of the Castle lately.
And this sassy behavior has trickled into her school day.
Her NEW school!
Remember?  She just started in gen ed?

Oy!

Lately, she has been using what I will refer to as "inappropriate words".
Poopy.
Poopy diapers.
Cow gas.
And her brother is repeating all of this with his infectious giggle.
And that just encourages more inappropriate words.
But now these words are being used in school.

I truly believe that she is saying them to get a rise out of people.
She gets attention (albeit bad) when she says them so she uses them to her advantage.
But on Friday her school mentioned that she was using them a lot to get attention, so I had to put an end to that....STAT!

This morning, the words started.
I thought to myself:  what can I do to get her attention that I mean business?

My a-ha moment:  I'll take one mini-hand sanitizer away each time she says something inappropriate.
It's totally Pavlov!
I gave her one warning and I told her my plan.
She was totally aware that I was going to do this.

So she started at 6:45am with the first word:  poopy.

Me:  "Kate, bring me one of your sanitizers.  Pick whichever one you want and bring it to me."
Kate:  "No.  I don't want to.  It's mine."
Me:  "I know it's mine, but you know my new rule.  Bring me one."

She had this look on her face which read "oh-my-gosh-you-are-dead-serious-on-this-one-aren't-you"!
And I was.
She slowly walked downstairs and came back with a peach-scented sanitizer.

Me:  "Thank you.  When you stop using those words you can have this back."

She sulked out of the room with her tail between her legs.

As the morning went on, she continued.
I counted.
As we drove the boy to school......
1.  2.  3.
And she continued.
As we drove home after dropping boy off at school.......
4.  5.  6.  7.
And she continued, trying to call my bluff.
As we walked into the house...........
8.  9.  10.  11.  12.............18.

Yes, 18.
She lost 18 of them to me.
And I don't think she thought I was serious.
But I was and I still am.
So I made her sit at the picnic table in our kitchen and had her count out 18 mini-sanitizers.
All.  By.  Herself.

Then I made her pick them up and walk them into my office.
Um, yes I have what I call an "office".
It's my little room off the main entrance of our house with a locked door that I can escape to do my scrapbooking stuff, school stuff, and any stuff that I want to do without being bothered.
I made her set those 18 sanitizers on my cedar chest.
And then I made her lock the door.
And close the door.
And she could peer at them through the door all she wanted....she wasn't getting these back until her behavior improved and the inappropriate words stopped.

This is what she sees:

 
If you look closely, you can see how she lined them up on the chest.
 
And she cried!
And cried.
Trust me, this is NOT the way I intended her to feel a mere 10 minutes before we had to start walking to school.
I may be tough but I'm not cruel.
But she had to learn a lesson.
And she is learning a tough one right now.
So we walked to school and she promised up and down that she would be good and did the whole pinky-swear thing.
I promised that if I got a good report from school and that if she made good decisions and didn't use those silly, inappropriate words that she would get them back.
 
Off to school she went, and I got a hug and a promise.
I also updated her supported ed teacher and SLP, so they were aware of what happened this morning.
It sucks being a Mom sometimes and it sucks when your kids hate you for doing something that they don't like.
 
Oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do, right?
 
So after school she "claimed" that she was good and that she wanted her sanitizers back.
I told her that I didn't get any phone calls or emails from school but I had to check her folder to see if there was a note for me.
 
There was.
And now 12 more mini-sanitizers joined their 18 other friends behind closed, locked, glass doors.
 
She is pissed off at me.
And this, my friends, is why I am not getting the MOTY award from my daughter today!
 
She owns 45 of these little gems.
30 of them are now in my possession.
She has 15 to gamble with at the present time.
 
Remind me NOT to take her to Vegas with me, OK?
 

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