Thursday, September 29, 2011

Behavior Modification

My kids are four years apart. One's a bossy girl; the other is a stubborn boy. They do have many really good, wonderful qualities, but that's not what today's post is about.

Because one is bossy and the other one is stubborn, and there's a four-year differential, there tends to be lots of room for bickering. I'm sure if you have kids, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. Anyway, all the bickering this summer left me pulling out my hair. About a month ago, I finally lost it. Oh man, did I lose it.

After telling them to get out of my sight, I thought to myself, "Why should I be the one to lose it? They're the ones who should be losing something." So I went to my husband, who had a great idea.

"Give them the chore you hate doing the most, and make them do it every time they fight."

Mopping, it is. I called them out of their rooms and taught them how to properly mop our kitchen floor, beginning with removing all the chairs to the living room. Sweep, swiffer, mop. Get down on your hands and knees if there's a stubborn spot. I taught them this while sitting like a queen on a throne. It was all very Cinderella-ish.

Today they were fighting over taking turns on the Wii -- to the point, mind you, that one was ripping the batteries out of the balance board. The old me would have yelled and sent them to their rooms. The new me? I very calmly said, "Turn it off and go mop." They very nearly began to bicker over who would do what, when I calmly reminded them that I could very easily add the bathroom floors to their punishment.

They're about half-way done as I type this.


  1. You are a brilliant mother. I will do this when my kids are old enough.

  2. Brilliant. Love it. I tell my kids, "Go scrub a toilet."And sometimes, they even DO it.

  3. I do the same thing--but with washing the blinds. It's great!