Friday, August 02, 2013

Ineffective Management (Parenting)

I've struggled from time-to-time with Rachel and chores. There are certain things that are her responsibility to do. But sometimes they're prerequisites to stuff we need to do. Case-in-point, I need her to take down and sort the dirty laundry before I can run a load of laundry. But sometimes she just can't get it into gear as early as I'd like. That's led to days of nagging, pushing, prodding and other behavior on my part that often did not result in the chore being completed, or it being done with lots of stomping, thumping (or throwing) of laundry baskets and resentment.

A new approach is needed because this interaction doesn't teach anything, doesn't instill any positive values, doesn't actually get willing compliance. In short, there's no redeeming value in it. So, yeah, a new approach is needed.

I could change the requirement to have a time constraint, but then that would just mean that if she didn't get it done by a certain time, she couldn't consider all her chores done for the day and then she couldn't get paid. So miss the deadline for that one and we'd see no other chores get done that day.

I could wait on doing laundry. But I'd rather not - it's an easy chore. Sometimes it's difficult getting any chores done, but I've found that if I start with the easy ones, it helps me to get into the groove of being productive.

So, what we have here is the need to compromise and I have two options that I'll work with:

(1) If it seems like she could get to it, I'll ask once and give her a little time to comply. If she does, excellent. If not, I'll do it and she won't get credit for the chore completed.

(2) If it's more that I'm ready to start running a load of laundry, then maybe it's just easiest for me to get the load down. I'll still give her credit for it.

The original goal was to get her involved in doing stuff to help around the house to save us time. On the weekends, it's not a lot of extra effort for me to do this. And certainly takes less time than repeatedly asking. And less frustrating than feeling ineffective because I asked for something to be done and not seeing results. (That's where the office is more fun - the people there are motivated by a common purpose and the paycheck. Rachel at this stage is not so concerned about either.)

This one's too small to note, but if I have to do all her work for her, then I don't have time to help her with the stuff she wants to do. I'll probably be years before she can actually appreciate this.
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