Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's All About the Motivation

If you have children in your life - goodness, if you have anyone in your life - I'm sure you know how hard it can be to get them to do the things they need to do.
Around here, mornings can be a challenge. They don't want to get out of bed. They'd rather play games, text, or watch TV than get chores done. Blah, blah, blah. You know the drill.
So, Wednesday morning I was a bit surprised to hear Joshua up and getting in the shower at 6:20. (I usually remind him to get up before I take Elizabeth to school at 6:35.) And I was startled by the knock on my bedroom door at 6:31. It was Joshua - showered and dressed - asking if he could come in. I said, "Sure," and he popped his head in the room asking, "Can I have my phone back?"

Aha! Suddenly it all made sense.
He had emptied the dishwasher Tuesday night before going to bed.
He got up when his alarm went off and got right into the shower.
Because he wanted his phone back as soon as possible.
It was as clear as a bell to me.

You see, that boy and his phone are like peanut butter and jelly, like Laurel and Hardy, like Jack and Jill. You can't have one without the other.
But Monday night Joshua spoke to me in a rude and disrespectful manner. And the consequence we've established for that behavior is - the phone is gone. For the rest of that day, and all of the next.
And since Joshua wanted his phone back as soon as he could get it Wednesday morning he made sure to do all the things he needed to do before he would be able to have it.

I am truly hopeful that Joshua's desire to not lose his phone will motivate him to chose his words and behavior more carefully. More than that, I pray his attention to behavior will create a heart-change in him.
In the mean time, I think I'll enjoy these mornings when he's trying to earn his phone back. Cuz that motivation makes life easier for me. *wink*



Anonymous said...

Oh can I so!! The job of a parent is a challenge, but what great rewards if we do not give up :O}

Blessings my friend and may you have a wonderful Thursday!

Debby Ann

TheUnSoccerMom said...

I can usually tell when Christen wants something b/c all of a sudden, she does her chore w/out being told and she doesn't fuss when I ask her to do something. ;o)

Irritable Mother said...

Debby Ann - And I'm not giving up. Though there are moments when I want to... *sheepish grin*

Jodi - Yeah, I catch on to that, too. But secretly, I like it when they want something - cuz I like it when they do what they're supposed to without prompting or fussing. *wink*

Anonymous said...

Are you living my life? LOL - However, it is disappointing that good behavior and good choices sometimes have to be provoked out of them like that:) Way to stand tough! Also, glad you got an encouraging moment where you got to see evidence of those good things within (like knowing how to do chores and get themselves up in the a.m.)

BTW, I linked to you in my new post because of your comment in my earlier post. I have directions on how to throw your own surprise party!

gianna said...

I hope so too! Take what you can get, and be thankful, right?

Irritable Mother said...

Bluecottonmemory - This morning he got up on his own with no external motivation! So did my other son, actually. This is good!
When I start to get discouraged about needing to provoke good behavior, I try to remember my own youth and remind myself that maturation will make a difference. *grin*

Gianna - Yes. At this point I will take what I can get and be thankful. And pray like crazy for their futures!