Checking it twice

If you remember, we’ve already touched on the idea of privileges and responsibilities back during week two. We had a list of three privileges and the first two worked like a charm (attending school/doing homework = watching TV and being on time for bedtime & school = staying up late on non-school nights). The third one about their earning the privilege to eat in the living room by picking up after themselves did not fly. Not even close. So that one goes.

This week we’ll take it from there. We haven’t talked to the girls yet because Jerry and I need time to make sure we’re on the same page with our lists. Here’s mine so far:

my list

As you can see, we’re considering adding “Be able to go without” to the responsibilities that go along with TV and Nintendo. Jerry and I enjoy TV almost as much as the girls do, and we’re thinking it might be good for the whole family to go a couple of weeks without it together. The goal would be to turn TV back into a luxury, not a necessity for passing the time. We plan to explain that our expectations are that they be able to entertain themselves without disturbing other family members (including not following us around the house saying, “I’m bored!”). We’re hoping that if we can all practice doing without it together, then moderation should become easier.

Refraining from hitting, yelling, or name-calling at home in order to be able to visit friends is a totally new concept. We can’t wait to hear their reaction to that one. (Stay tuned!)

And, finally, we have so much orthodontia going on in our house, costing so much money, that I have got to find a way to raise compliance with doctor’s orders. Shelling out hundreds of dollars each month just to have to keep asking Fenner and Ellen if they are remembering to wear their retainers is simply not working. So, what do they care about? Oral health and hygiene? Certainly not. They care about candy and how much they can have and when they can have it. Ok, so candy didn’t create their need for orthodontia, but if we’re going to invest this much in their teeth, then they’re going to have to show us they can take care of them — brushing twice a day and following doctor’s orders — before we can, in good conscience, say yes to any more candy. The only problem is, I’m not sure how to monitor slip-ups without installing hidden cameras! Hmm… [Readers, see Vicki’s comment on this one below.]

Now, just need to find a good time to go over all this with the girls and get their input…

ps Fenner and Ellen are so close these days that when they do argue it’s very interesting to listen in. Here’s what I heard today. It’s almost like their own language:

“… Because I don’t want you to!”
“Why do you care so much?”
“Why do you care that I care?”
“I don’t care!”
“Then why are you asking me why I care?”
“Because you seem to care so much!”
“… You’re mean like that sometimes!”
“You’re mean like that too!”
“You say things a lot like, ‘OBviously!’ and ‘Yeah, too bad!'”
“Well, I know a person who I learned those words from … Fenner!
“Yeah, Ellen! …”

Wish I could remember more of it, but you get the idea… 🙂

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 8: Privileges & Responsibilities

2 Comments on “Checking it twice”

  1. Vicki Says:

    Here is a tip:

    Agreements. If they agree that following the orthodontic protocol makes sense, and they can see the reasoning behind it – you seal the deal with a verbal or written agreement. Then, you add following agreements to the list of responsibilities under, say going to a friends house. After all, you have to know with confidence, that the girls will follow the little agreements now, so that you can build trust for the bigger things, say parties, in 5 years.

    This breaks the cycle of you policing and it also gets the girls thinking about trust, respect, their word, person integrity, in other words — Value Identification. How fun. I get excited just waiting to hear what happens.

    • flockmother Says:

      Ahhh, yes, that’s helpful. Then we can negotiate and list out our agreements and that list can evolve over time. Like, we can also agree on how much is too much TV and include that too. Thanks!


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